Monday, February 6, 2012

Quebec's latest Crisis Nothing to do with Language

The alarming uptick in the unemployment rate in Quebec during StatsCan latest reporting period should have set off a panic within the government and should very much be the issue of the day.

Somehow few seem panicked, least of all, the government.

While the rest of Canada saw the unemployment rate dip marginally, the loss of jobs over the last six months pushed the Quebec rate up a staggering 2 percent to 8.7%.
This while the country is supposed to be in recovery.

In fact, during this period Quebec lost a staggering 50,000 jobs while the rest of the country added 250,000!

In hindsight, the closure of the Shell refinery in east end Montreal a year ago, heralded the beginning of an unprecedented spate of closures, lockouts and shutdowns that has decimated Quebec's manufacturing base and which continues unabated.

The closure of the Shell refinery was brought on by union excess that saw the plant suffer from pitifully low productivity, coupled with overly generous salaries and conditions.
Sadly, unlike other companies which cannot compete paying high 'Quebec' salaries, the refinery would have remained functional had the union acted more responsibly.

But that being said, the handwriting is on the wall for Quebec's manufacturing base. Salaries and operating costs in Quebec are just too expensive compared to the Orient, Latin America and believe it or not, even the United States.

The Electrolux vacuum cleaner manufacturing plant is off to Tennessee where workers will make about ten dollars an hour less than in Quebec and where the costs related to employee benefits are considerably lower.

Last week MABE, a plant producing dryers announced that it too is moving its 700 jobs to either Mexico or the United States, the union pushing the fiction that it is America's 'Buy American' plan that made their product unattractive, rather than the real reason, the higher manufacturing costs associated with Quebec.

These latest closures continue the decline that started back in the seventies with the move overseas of Quebec's robust sewing industry. Back then, seamstresses were pulling in a healthy hourly rate of $15 an hour, which is probably equivalent to $30-$40 an hour today.

All this is coupled with Big Pharma scaling back research, after years of growth in Quebec. Last week AstraZeneca announced that it will eliminate 175 jobs and with recent layoffs at Johnson & Johnson, Merck and others, it means that another 1000, more than decent jobs, are out the window.

And so these well-paid workers, now jobless, are left to the dole, forced to exit the province or obliged to scrounge around with nothing but McJobs available.

Is this the future?
Is Quebec on the road to becoming a Detroit, having lost it's competitive edge and relevancy?
I hope not.

Sadly, Quebecers remain mostly ambivalent to these economic body blows and somehow, it doesn't seem to matter, or in fact, even register with those who seem more interested in debating an accent on the sign of the METRO supermarket chain. 

The province has got to find a way to maintain decent paying jobs, otherwise we will see that as the unemployment rate rises, coupled with a drop in remuneration for the remaining jobs, a catastrophic loss in government revenues, impacting the province's ability to support its bloated social programs.

I don't want to sound like an alarmist, but if things don't change, we are headed for a meltdown.

The equalization program that brings Quebec about eight billion dollars a year is up for re-negotiation in two years and like it or not, Stephen Harper will be sitting on the other side of the table. If that program gets modified to the detriment of Quebec, it will be an unmitigated disaster.
With the province approaching it's debt ceiling rather quickly, anyone who can do math, can see an impending economic and social disaster unfolding.

One way or the other, Quebec needs new revenue streams, probably in the neighborhood of ten billion dollars, otherwise we can all start learning Greek.

The question remains - How to create wealth?

While Quebecers continue to demand the good life, they fail miserably to understand that wealth creation is the key to prosperity.

Let us shunt aside union extremism, poor productivity and the nanny government, realities that unfortunately aren't' going to change soon or ever.
Is there anything to be done?

Premier Charest has proposed just about the only thing that can save Quebec from itself, called LE PLAN NORD, an aggressive program to tap into the province's vast natural resources.

It is probably Quebec's last path towards salvation, but you wouldn't know it by the lukewarm reception it has gotten in the Press.

Jobs in the resource field are golden, a virtual gold mine, if you'll pardon the pun.

Quebec enjoys vast caches of gold, nickel, cobalt, platinum, iron and ilmenite and yes, even oil and gas, all waiting to be lifted from the ground.

Up in the Abitibi region, Quebec's largest mining region, jobs in the eight currently operating mines pay up to $70 an hour, with the company making plenty of money to boot.

The jobs are so enticing, that 70% of the classes of area colleges are filled with females, the men long gone into the mines!

Quebec's vast territory provides a wealth of natural resources, ripe for development, but the biggest obstacle is Quebecers themselves, who have no sense of urgency over the matter.

A powerful environmental and native lobby have partnered with radical nationalists to stall these plans.

The government, in the face of opposition has already put a halt to fractional gas drilling, with no plan or timetable to safely pursue this valuable resource.

The border dispute between Quebec and Newfoundland over the 'Old Harry' oil field in the Gulf of St. Lawrence seems to have been settled, but nothing concrete has been undertaken to get production underway.
More studies and wasted decades.

It has been proposed that the largely uninhabited Anticosti island holds 30 billion barrels of oil (3 trillion dollars at today's current price of crude) yet again nothing seems to be done to develop these resources very quickly.

There are currently 35 mining projects in various stages of planning, a number that exceeds Quebec's 25 currently operating mines.

The wealth that these projects could bring is staggering, yet all we hear in the Press is the demand for more studies and delays.
It seems that every single project is subject to five, ten or fifteen year delays.

Nobody seems to care, the initiative to create wealth, relatively unimportant.

Why? Because Quebecers have been used to getting something for nothing.

Vast borrowing and equalization payments have insulated us from believing that we must produce wealth in order to support our lifestyle.
After just two or three generations of being a something-for-nothing society, Quebec has become the proverbial welfare family, permanently on the dole with no industrious desire as long as money is for free.

With so much potential, the province remains lazy, uninterested and disconnected.

The most important question is not whether will we change, but rather whether we can change.


  1. @Editor:

    What did you make of Sunday morning's announcement?

    1. What "announcement" is this?

    2. Sorry for my late reply, i was traveling home and was actually out of the country these last few days.
      As for Charest's announcement, it is typical pandering.
      I'll have more to say on that subject soon.....

    3. "...was actually out of the country these last few days..."

      Vous êtes allé en ontario Editor?

    4. Comparing the Greeks to the xenophobic, ethnocentric, special interest minority Peuple Conquis Québécois separatists cult that continuously blackmails Canada to engage in never-ending Russian roulette style referendums through the misuse of the democracy that was born and nurtured on Greece’s blood soak land is utterly shameful and disgusting. The Greeks may have their problems, but whining, weasel, victim, no count traitors to Canada and Freedom they’ll never be!!!

  2. Strange. As if by some bizarre twist of fate, yesterday, while sorting through boxes at my mother's house which she is selling, I came across an editorial piece my late-father wrote for a newsletter. I had never seen it before yesterday, but I couldn't help but feel like these words from the distance past were meant for me to read now, in the future. Here's the two paragraphs that really struck me...

    It is dated December 1976 (just after the Parti Quebecois was voted in power).

    "If, however, the fright of separatism results in severe economic scars and paralyzes the development of this province, the less moderate elements of the Parti Quebecois, who are obsessed with independence, may surface, and as in all cases of frustrated nationalism, will seek scapegoats to stir the restless masses...

    "And what better scapegoats than those Anglophones Americans, who refuse to lend money to Quebec and those Anglophones Canadians outside Quebec who thwart separatist aspirations, and most ominously, those Anglophones in Quebec who control a significant part of the private sector of the economy..."

    35 years after he wrote that, look where we are now. Quebec's economy seriously crumbling and balancing on the edge, and the separatists on a witch hunt for Anglophones. Be it hockey coaches, bank executives or city counselors who speak French, but not with an "acceptable" accent.

    Interestingly my father never liked to talk Quebec politics, but apparently he knew of the potential dangerous.

    1. Apple, judging from your grammatical errors, I'm assuming you were half asleep when you wrote this! Not to worry, your point came across loud and clear.

      Why do you think I knew enough by age 16 I was going to bide my time, finish my cheap Quebec post-secondary education, and then leave Quebec at the first possible opportunity?

      It didn't take an airplane to fall on me to see the writing on the wall. All I saw going on around me was endless labour strife, overt racism promoted by the Quebec government and its rhetoric, high taxes, and with the anti-English legislation that came out, I started to feel like a foreigner in the place where I was born; furthermore, Trudeau and his federalists just sat there with their thumbs up their rectums and let it happen, with minimal protection provided to the minorities.

      The true blue conservatism within Stephen Harper is ever increasingly rising to the surface, and I'm truly hoping within that two years he gives Quebec sweet fuck-all in the way equalization. Why should he? Quebec made it unequivocally clear they don't like Harper, and they don't want him. For all his ass-kissing and bending over backwards for votes in Quebec in past campaigns, the voters barely gave him an inch this time yielding to an impending dead man who made promises that he could in no way deliver if he was strong and healthy. They bought into Layton's last stand, and it should and will cost them big-time. Harper saw this, and as a result, he put many of his political eggs into other baskets. Smart move on his part!

      The pendulum has swung. Right now Harper is enjoying the fruits of a disorganized and struggling left just like the right struggled through the 1990s into the new millennium. Eventually the left will get their you-know-what and brown gravy together, but not for sometime to come. The fact that in Quebec they suddently voted for the NDP after only winning two seats in different by-elections over the decades is proof the left was in disarray. Ignatieff with his Ivy League nose in the air made that all too obvious. The Conservative attack ads hit the nail right on the head: "He didn't come back (to Canada, after a 34-year hiaitis in the U.S.A.) for you!" Besides, the Liberal Elite became full of themselves and just handed him the mantle without having another convention to semi-democratically vote in a new leader. I state semi-democratically because delegates shouldn't decide for a whole populous, and there's political ass-kissing and backstabbing in that process as well, but it's better than the undemocratic move they made and a dear price was paid for that!

    2. Half asleep AND sick with the flu, neither one a good mix when writing. :) Oh well, chalk it up as just one of the many times I'll reread my comments and wish there were an 'edit' button.

      I agree with everything you're saying, and I'm sure you'll agree its likely far too late repair the damage that's now been done to this province. Years ago I used to think things could turn around, given the chance, but it's just a lost cause now. Now all anyone should be concerned with now is saving Canada from Quebec. Quebec has become a cancer that has destroyed itself and now spreading. And it's not merely language and politics, it goes far beyond that.

  3. Quebec does have a whacko radical left that refuses to deal with reality at all levels. Just this week-end...

    1 - Quebec Solidaires' twin heads of the beast (Francis David and Omar Khadir) continued to bang the drum about the language issue again.

    2 - Charest claimed that almost half of the north will be protected under the Plan Nord plan. This to keep the no development crowd happy. Good luck. He should have told them that the only land that would be protected on the Plan Nord map would be the land not under Quebec's territory. Labrador!

    3 - The no development crowd was also at it with demonstrations about Hydro-Quebecs plan to install "smart meters".

    4 - And just this Monday morning, Daycare workers went on a walk out strike. Meaning they want more money and/or more benefits.

    Can Quebec change and face the reality that is waiting for it? I think it'll require the government to stand up and finally say what needs to be said. Games over. We are broke.

    1. Unfortunately, what the World lacks and particularly Kweebec are "Statesmen". What we have today amongst the political elite are leaches and opportunists...

    2. "continued to bang the drum about the language issue again."

      Un conseil,munissez-vous de bouchons pour les oreilles car le roulement des tambours ne fait que commencer.

    3. @ Seppie Oh shut up now. Go find a job and stop being "un gros cave".

    4. Merci du conseil Philou.J'en prend bonne note :)

    5. No,seriously, get your butt off the couch and go find a fucking job that meets with your level of competence and knowledge.

    6. Je voudrais bien mais quoi?Je ne parle même pas anglais et j'habite Montréal.Pas évident...Même pour une McJob.

    7. LOL Seppie you're hilarious.

    8. @ Seppie : don't worry I'll teach you a few words:

      -Mc Croquettes = Mc Nuggets
      -frites= fries
      -Hambourgeois= hamburger
      -Grand Coke diète= Large Diet Coke

      I think you're ready now :p

  4. Les Québécois are averse to wealth creation and shun those that do create wealth. How else could one explain the job killing masochistic government policies they are so eager to defend and uphold (i.e. language laws, high tax rates, laughable levels of corruption, duplication of Federal services, shoddy roads....)?
    By looking at how Quebec has evolved over the past 40 years, one can only surmise that the Hard line Separatists are determined to revert Quebec back into an agrarian French society, similar to the Nouvelle France days. Really, how else can one justify the anti business, anti wealth creation laws in Quebec? Most Québécois people are unilingual Francophones, unable to string 3 words of English together. When the bottom falls out of the Quebec economy and the downward spiral begins, what will they do and where will they go? They will have to stay put and do jobs that pay a pittance, drastically reducing the lifestyle they have become accustomed too. Government policy has mandated that they cannot learn English or God forbid, attend and English school. They are a shining example of a captive tax base (and government Thought Control).
    On a side note, Quebec Solidaire had a Pow Wow this past weekend and what was the big news to come out of that meeting? Tougher language laws, more inspectors to bully business of 50 people or less and pushing an end to bilingualism job requirements unless use of English is proven to be a hard requirement. Plus ca change.....

    1. ...which is why we should all shout "Vive la province Canadienne de Montreal" in order to prevent those potential Messes to arise and aggravate the situation to a worst case scenario. However, I don't think we should feel too concerned about Quebec solidaire because they're not going to be taken seriously during the election campaign since they are only going to reap maybe about 2 or 3% of the votes.

    2. I find it hard to be intellectual about this mess I take it too personal.
      Montreal was my identity, as a young teen I wasn't given the choice.
      My entire family left in 3 months in the spring of the english french drama.
      I live in Alberta now it's never going to be home because I really want to be in Quebec.
      The only way I could do it and not go insane is to not listen to any political idea.

      In Alberta we hear stories of young men coming from Quebec thinking jobs will be waiting for them.
      The guys are noticed right away by the way they dress and the groups.( place red neck laughter and verbage here)
      They wander around the plants trying to apply for work,
      the lack of english comprehension is worst than it was in the 70's boom.
      The attitude from front line is not to hire because french creates problems(fill in the gaps for yourself).

      All us anglos who had to leave our homes and family history for communities west, where we were welcomed. We DO experience a warm feeling that we are missed.

      It is against our laws in Canada that the french are given a license to be the master in these eastern provinces as long as that is the way the english in Canada will bully them, when they come hat in hand. These are wounds that take generations to heal, I can't forget I wasn't wanted. 200 years of family history erased like a jew in 1942 seriously it is a crime no one talks about when I tell European friends they freak out hearing my story from a family emotional perspective, they freak out even more knowing it's still going on in Beautiful safe friendly Canada PFFFT!

  5. Feb 6, 2012 04:41 AM

    Francis David ?

  6. "Tougher language laws, more inspectors to bully business of 50 people or less and pushing an end to bilingualism job requirements unless use of English is proven to be a hard requirement."

    Quels arguments!Vous venez de me convaincre...Votons Québec Solidaire

  7. Editor,

    Reading these comments this morning, I must say that the Quebecois style defeatism has overwhelmed, Apple IIGS, Mr. Sauga (even though he moved), Anonymous and LordDorchester.

    If I were to believe what I've read so far, I might be inclined to feel as defeated. I tell you, it ain’t so. This is what the racist want; so hit them where it hurts. Nothing gets people going like a worthy project. Don’t give in to hate!! Time to call on our French CANADIAN brothers and launch LA PROVINCE CANADIENNE DE MONTREAL!!

    Your article was initiated by PlanNord where we are reminded how vast our HomeAndNativeLand’s resources are. Well the outrage of losing the QC economic engine may wake up enough French Canadians in the RoQ to demand that the province remain intact and in Canada. With numbers dwindling, the Separatist want to lower the voting age to 16. This also is defeatist, which means they are on the ropes.


    1. French CANADIAN brothers ?

      Hmmmm...Je ne connais pas beaucoup de jeunes Québécois qui se définissent comme étant "French canadian".À qui vous adressez-vous exatement?Aux personnes agées?

    2. A good suggestion with two major flaws:
      1) East Montreal is home to some of the worst, most radical, most dangerous separatist thugs in the entire province. When we marched for English rights in April, they followed us, yelled at us and threatened us. Without police protection, I have no doubt they would have assaulted us. They have already made death threats against our leaders, for the crime of demanding EQUAL (not superior) rights.
      2) Please remember there are loyal Canadians on the South Shore, the Eastern Townships, and especially West Quebec (formerly the Outaouais) who you would be abandoning to the tender mercies of the separatists and racist anglophobes. The province of Montreal/New Quebec/Caledonia etc cannot be confined to the island of Montreal. We want to "leave no anglophone behind" if at all possible. Divide Montreal (Berlin wall style?) but extend the borders to Ontario and southern New Brunswick (note that the racist francophones are successfully dividing the province there as well, and they only make up a third of the population!) so that Canada remains undivided from sea to sea. A referendum MIGHT solve this, ONLY if English Canada decides the question (or questions; Canada should have options rather than a simple "yes/no" answer) AND COUNTS THE VOTES.

    3. Encore du recrutement dans les maisons du dernier repos genre:Le Jardin Des Hibiscus MDR!!!

    4. former kebecker

      Berlin wall sounds a bit mean, but Kansas City is split between Kansas and Missouri... it's not ideal but, if people just can't get along, some enforced separation doesn't sound as bad as continuous confrontation. The distance might make the heart grow fonder...

      You make a good point about Montreal not being the only part where anglos are present. But then, again, this is not about "No Anglo left behind", but about giving the opportunity to all those Canadians who don't want to live in a unilingual French province to have their own province where being bilingual doesn't mean being a traitor (that applies to Eastern Ontario too, albeit in reverse). I happen to have this romantic notion (foolish, I know) that bilingual Canadians (both anglo and franco) are the only true Canadians and represent the best people and the best resource of this country of yours (not mine, just yet) and that they deserve to be masters of their own destiny rather than an inconvenience to the anglo Ontario and franco Quebec.

      I agree that bilingualism in New Brunswick is coming to a sticky end, but I blame the decision to make the province officially bilingual whilst enforcing language separation in schools for that... in short: however unpleasant the franco movement is becoming over there, I think the anglos (who are the majority) are to blame in this case for acquiescing a political solution that was bound to fail. Ultimately, bilingualism can only succeed if everybody is committed to it: sparing a kind thought for some old timer that no longer have the mental elasticity to learn a second language, everybody else should make the effort, starting from the schools. Switzerland is essentially a bilingual country (with the other two languages being spoken by less than 10% of the population) and yet it is compulsory for schoolchildren to learn at least two of the national languages. In my, albeit limited, experience of interacting with Swiss people, this is what actually happens. South-Eastern Quebec (Greater Montreal, West Quebec) and all those part of Quebec and Eastern Ontario where bilingual people are the majority can be called upon to create their own Province (provided the various boroughs, towns and counties vote for it). I'm not interested in a re-occupation of Quebec, but a re-organisation of the provinces that better represents their cultural make-up. Then, what remains Quebec can carry on with its own project, wherever that may lead, knowing that they are doing it for themselves, not just for the sake of petty retaliation, and without the burden of captive fellow travellers to bother them. What's not to like? :-P

      P.S. Sad about the Eastern Townships (I love Sherbrooke!), but I'm afraid they are fully fledged Francophone cities by now... I don't think they'll join in.

    5. @The Quebec Partition

      Sérieusement et ce n'est ni une attaque personnelle ni une intention d'être mesquin avec vous.En lisant vos commentaires,je me posais cette question :Êtes-vous sous l'effet d'une médication quelconque?D'alcool ou autres substances qui pourraient altérées votre jugement?Avez-vous une idée que provoquerait la simple évocation publique de cette idée par un politicien digne de ce nom?

    6. Désolé pour les erreurs grammaticales.À force de lire de l'anglais,mon français se dégrade.

    7. to Anonymous Feb 6, 2012 09:37 AM

      Maybe you're the one who is under alcohol or drug effects for being so ridiculously gullible believing and falling for whatever your elites say. Moreover, what Quebec partition said, is probably more realistic and achievable than your expired idea of a third referendum for your dead cause that you're stuck in.

    8. Pour une meilleure compréhension et pour une question de crédibilité,pouvez-vous nous indiquer les étapes et le chemin que vous comptez suivre afin d'atteindre votre but?
      Ou songez-vous peut-être à une guerre civile? :D

    9. Ou songez-vous peut-être à une guerre civile? :D

      That says more about you than it does about me, I'm afraid.

      quant à les étapes:

      1 - First talk about it, make the idea public, cause a discussion
      2 - Create a lobby or, if called for, a political party and try to achieve a critical mass (I genuinely think there is a consensus for it)
      3 - Pressurise the government at local (first), then national level by petitioning, lobbying, selling the benefits of the deal
      4 - Get investors lined up to invest in the future province and convince the Government that there is money to be made in the deal
      5 - Get legislation passed on the holding of local referendums in Quebec (wherever the anglos and bilinguals make up about 40-50% of the population or more, no point wasting taxpayers money elsewhere)
      6 - Accept referendum outcome
      7 - Tidy up the deal with the Provinces of Quebec and Ontario to ensure a reasonable territorial continuity (that will take some give and take) of the two established provinces and the new one
      8 - Keep the promises made to the investors
      9 - Legislate

      Of course, every step requires work on the ground and decisions taken day by day, but since the powers that be in both Quebec and Ontario don't want the speakers of the "other" language or the bilinguals around, nothing wrong with giving them a home of their own... in their own home! So what's left (and it's still a lot!) of Quebec becomes French only, what's left of Ontario becomes English only (ok, maybe not Sudbury, but that's too damn far to have a chance!), and the bilinguals and those who don't care what language their neighbour speaks live happily together. Everybody wins. Yes, you too, Seppie! What don't you like?

    10. LOl!Ouf,j'ai eu chaud...J'ai cru un moment que vous étiez sérieux.

    11. 1 - First talk about it, make the idea public, cause a discussion

      C'est déjà un bon début.Quand prévoyez-vous la fin des discussions ? LOL!

    12. Seppie,dude Seriously, Go get a job because you have no freaking life you loser sack of shit...can't you see, you're making an ass of yourself and everyone must be wondering "who is this loser troll that keeps polluting the blog on a daily basis?"

    13. "...and everyone must be wondering "who is this loser troll that keeps polluting the blog on a daily basis?"

      Is it a plane? is it a bird?Nooooooo,it's Super Seppiiiiiiiiiiiie!!!!

    14. Super Seppie...the King of all Epic failures and an example to follow if you want to head your way down the path of losership and other words, the dirtiest and the lowest of all hairy scrotums that nobody wants to fiddle on.

    15. C'est déjà un bon début.Quand prévoyez-vous la fin des discussions ? LOL!

      I don't know, when are you planning to stop talking about the Acadians? I'm not going to bother answering the rest until I stumble in an intelligent comment from you, Seppie (no luck so far). But I'll repeat my question: what don't you like of my idea? The more you put off answering the more you look like a fool (trying to be kind, here)

    16. "The more you put off answering the more you look like a fool"

      Comment pouvez-vous avoir une conversation sérieuse avec quelqu'un qui a l'intention d'ériger un mur linguistique à Montréal?D'annexer une partie de Montréal avec l'ontario?Je ne suis peut-être pas un prix Nobel et j'assume totalement mes propos sarcastiques.Êtes-vous conscient que la première étape de votre projet consisterait à réunir une équipe autour d'un parti politique représentant votre minorité qui elle-même fait partie d'une autre minorité.Un conseil: Commencez par faire une évaluation sur le terrain à l'aide d'un sondage,une forme d'étude de marché.

      De toutes manières,je crois que vos propos sur ce blogue s'apparentent plus un exutoire à vos frustrations qu'à un projet réfléchi et sensé.

    17. Seppie, I'd be tempted to say that your English comprehension is rather limited, but I suspect that it's more bad faith and trolling on your behalf instead.
      1 - Montreal is already split: WestMount, Dorval, DDO and several other boroughs have democratically de-merged from Montreal and are now independent towns, so I'm not proposing anything new, the only difference being the Provincial authority overseeing the new political entity.
      2 - At what point did I mention annexing anything to Ontario? I repeatedly argued that what today is bilingual Eastern Ontario (the Ottawa region) should be separated from the purely anglophone part of the province to join with West Montreal, the more bilingual parts of the South Shore (Brossard at the very least) and the Outauais.
      3 - Anglos, Allos and Bilingual people are the MAJORITY in Montreal to the tune of 60% in the CMA and 67% in the City of Montreal. If you're clinging on to the percentage of people who have French as their first language, as someone else pointed out repeatedly, 95% of those among them who also speak English (obviously NOT you, bilingual and ashamed of it!) voted in favour of staying in Canada. I can wager that the same people who voted to de-merge DDO, Dorval and Brossard (to name a few) would probably be happy to legally exercise their bilingualism and do business with the world at large in English, then relax and have fun with their friends and family in French.

      By the way, you still haven't said what you don't like about it: lots of sarcasm and name calling, but no tangible analysis.

      You're right on one thing, though: you're no Nobel Prize winner...

    18. "'re no Nobel Prize winner..."

      Je crois qu'à ce titre,nos chances semblent égales mais semble-t-il que je serais celui de nous deux qui en est conscient :)

    19. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    20. Seppie:

      and still you're not answering the question: what don't you like about the plan? Surely by now you must have had a brainwave and developed a shred of a counter argument... enlighten this simpleton with your wisdom!

  8. Good for Quebec solidaire, with the other 2 seppie parties like PQ and CAQ we might have the least worst choice for allos and anglos win in a multiparty electoral split.

    1. Remember one thing my friend, the CAQ are neither Federalist nor Separatist.

    2. "The PQ , BQ, ADQ, and now the CAQ are considered by many to be part of a hateful treasonous racist cult"

      Well said!!

    3. By least worst choice i mean Quebec "liberals"

  9. Editor, you mention several natural resource development avenues that could help Québec uplift its economy and create much needed jobs. You criticize elements in Québec society that call for further studies or delays, if not full stops, before they are developed. Let's examine what's really at stakes here.

    1- You elude to shale gas when you mention fractional gas drilling. You deplore the fact that the government has decided to halt the development of this resource for the predictable future. You are not without knowing that fractional gas drilling is demonstrated to entail a strong risk of contamination of the water-table. Considering that shale gas is found in the most densely populated areas of Québec, this is a serious issue. Many of the pilot scale drilling sites inspected in Québec were shown to leak significant amounts of toxic products into the water-table. No amount of money, or no jobs are worth poisoning our people.

    Besides, shale gas no eldorado. The expected number of jobs created is low. Moreover, the price of natural gas is currently very low on the world markets. That means, not much wealth. It might be preferable to wait for the technology to mature. The gas will stay where it is, and if the risks of exploiting it becomes satisfyingly lower, chances are we'll get more money out of it than if we extract it and sell it in a rush. The price of gas will go up, traditional reserves are dwindling.

    1. 2- Petroleum

      There's oil drilling potential in 3 places in Québec.

      - Off-shore, in the Old Harry deposit, in the gulf of St.Lawrence.
      Two issues here. First off, we have no expertise in off-shore drilling in Québec. Newfoundland has, and that's why they'll start drilling their part before we do. And some of our part might percolate to their side before we get our hands dirty with it. That's sad, but that's the way it is. Second, after the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe, everybody's a bit less enthusiastic about off-shore drilling. I'm not saying we shouldn't drill it, I'm saying caution is wise. Messing up the gulf of St-Lawrence is not profitable, it's liability. We already messed up the whales population in there with ultrasound probing.

      - Anticosti
      Exploration and exploitation rights were the possession of Hydro-Québec until recently. Our current government sold it off to private interests to undisclosed conditions. We have no control of what's going to happen in there, and if it does, there's no way to say that it will profit Québec. Nobody knows, and by the way that's a huge ethics scandal, signé Jean Charest et al (who else ?).

      - Gaspésie
      Good news from there. Pilot drilling sites are operational, they're doing well, and production is expected to increase over the coming years. God knows Gaspésie badly needs those jobs. See, development that makes sense happens, even in Québec !

    2. 3- Plan Nord

      The large untapped resources of northern Québec have had people dreaming of wealth for over a century. Yes, before the Quiet Revolution and long before we seppies even started to exist as a fringe group of racist-language-supremacist-socialist-lazy-unionized-lunatics (!), the old Anglo-led Québec economy was dreaming already dreaming about it. Much of the dreams of then didn't come to frutation, though. Parts of the Plan Nord version 1910s is actually still on the drawing table. That's because there are real life obstacles to these huge projects. Unions and policies are minor obstacles compared to physical constraints, those that mother nature imposes us. And for the record, Lesage and all the post-Quiet-revolution socialists (that includes seppies like René Lévesque, btw) did more to develop our natural resources than all the Anglo bosses and St.James street fat cats that came before them.

      This whole Plan Nord story popped up around the last provincial election. At the time, it was nothing but a vague electoral promise to do something about our large untapped reserves of natural resources. Charest called it a plan, but an actual plan, there was no trace of. Just an idea, an idea that's easy to toss around but that's tougher to put into action. The natural resource slogan chronically pops up in Québec politics. Since the 1910s at least, as I just told you. It's part of the political folklore. It really strikes a cord with Quebeckers, anglos and francos alike apparently. But at least, when Lesage, Lévesque and Bourassa went into an election selling natural resource development megaprojects, they had the decency to meet voters with more than just a goddamn slogan. They really did have a plan. Even Duplessis did better than Charest. At least he made sure he had credible american corps to buy his 1 cent/ton iron ore, for Christ's sake !

      So, two years into his mandate Charest finally came up with a document exposing his infamous Plan Nord. What was it ? He basically took the list of all the mining and hydroelectric projects currently at different steps on the drawing table (some of them really old, see the map Editor provided a link for), added a few infrastructure projects needed to make the projects happen (including a few pipe dreams) and tossed in an environment protection component to greenwash the whole thing. Tada, here's your Plan Nord.

      Here's what's worse though. In its original format, the Plan Nord makes sure Québec gets as little as possible of the "staggering wealth" its resources could generate. Critics were right. I'm happy the thing is getting chopped up, 'cause it needs some serious amendments to become minimally acceptable.

    3. 3- Plan nord (cont'd)

      - Government was going to accept 10% royalties or less, and hold your breath, on profits only. WTF ! Who's dumb enough to lend their backyard to other interests, and tell them: "Ok, exploit it, and if you manage to make profit out of it, you can pay me a few cents" ? Are we such a bunch of credulous lambs ? Government backtracked and lifted royalties to 20%. They kept the "royalties on profits only" part though, and that's just ridiculous. We're selling them our soil, they should be paying us for the product, not what they can manage to do with it ! Besides, you can make sure mining companies will massage their financial statements as much as possible to pay minimal royalties. "Nope, no profits, I swear. Sorry, no royalties for you, suckers !"

      - Government was going to build a several hundred kilometer-long-road to the Otish Mountains. You see, there are diamonds over there. And nice ones too. BUT, the government was going to build the damn road entirely with taxpayer's money, just for the diamond mining corporations, and with nothing in return. The old logic of nationalizing cost and privatizing profits. The usual conservative pundits went ahead with their mantra: "We should be thankful these mining companies will give us jobs." The pinkie-leftist's answer: they should be thankful we build them a road and hand them over the diamonds. And I mean literally hand over, because who's going to dig the diamonds out if it's not Québec taxpayers ? Fortunately, the government back tracked out this one, too. "No road is going to be build for free for private interests, they say". They haven't told us how they intend to get paid yet. Parizeau (yes, I know you hate him) reminded us that, in the old days, they would trade this kind of government implication in projects for a number of shares. You know, it's this idea that partners should be treated like partners.

      - Hey, one last example. Did you see that star up there in the Ungava peninsula, on the map provided by Editor (in the Kuujjuaq area) ? Currently, there's no way to get the mining material over there, and the ore back. Well, I mean, we could fly it over. Wouldn't be profitable. A long-ass road or railway could be built, but you realize the cost of this too. The cheapest option is to load the ore on boats. Means would need to build a deepwater port up there. Quite an achievement, but its feasible. With the northwest passage thawing permanently, there could other benefits to this. Well, they included this idea in the Plan Nord. Who pays for it ? I'll let you guess. But then comes another issue. Up north, as soon as you leave the ground and step into the sea, you're in exclusive federal ground. You know, Québec was able to snatch some rights on its waters in the gulf of St.Lawrence (was a battle, the Newfies had to go through a lot of ordeal with the federal government to get access to their own oil too), but up north, we tied up. I don't know that the federal is going cooperate on this. Let Québec develop and grow stronger ? Ooooh, that's dangerous !

      Plan Nord = half-assed political stunt.

    4. "Who's dumb enough to lend their backyard to other interests, and tell them: "Ok, exploit it, and if you manage to make profit out of it, you can pay me a few cents" "

      By "other" interests, you mean American interests. And who's dumb enough? Everybody. Well, not so much dumb, but really having no choice. See, first it's a bribe delivered by an economic hitman which works in majority of cases, if that doesn't work it's a coup d'etat or a jackal coming in, if that doesn't work it's a war.

      Kiss you resources goodbye. Someone is coming to get them.

    5. "those that mother nature imposes us. And for the record, Lesage and all the post-Quiet-revolution socialists (that includes seppies like René Lévesque, btw) did more to develop our natural resources than all the Anglo bosses and St.James street fat cats that came before them."

      If they did so much more than the "FAT CATS" on St-James Street, now called St-Jacques, then why the hell has the province been on severe decline ever since those seppies stepped into power for the first time??? Now, I am no denying any plan they envisioned for the province, that's not the point at all, but it seems to me that most of those plans they attempted to carry out back in 70's, failed to come true.

      Besides, you fail to realize when they legislated Bill 101, hundreds of companies packed up their luggage and fled to Toronto and other places North America, Thus, dragging the province down into a huge economic downslide, from which it has never been successful at recovering so far, and seemingly not to be heading that way with all the plans shutting down now, things ahead are not looking very good so far.

      45000 jobs flushed down the toilet drain in Montreal and soon to become the Failure Center of Canada…"the separatist dream"

    6. First off, you want severe economic decline, see Detroit, not Québec or Montréal. Montréal, for example, has been growing more slowly than, say, Toronto and Vancouver, but it is not in severe decline since the seppies took power in 1976. You mention the companies packing up because of bill 101. They had been packing up for a while already, because Canada's economic centre of gravity had been moving west to Toronto since at least the late 1940s, if not before. Bill 101 probably accelerated things, but isn't the fundamental cause here.

      Besides, your comment is completely off-topic. I was comparing the success of natural resource development in Québec before and after the Quiet Revolution (1960), not the overall economic performance of Québec since the PQ first took power (1976). We can discuss that other topic if you want, and go into all the nuances and details of that, but this comment thread probably isn't the place. Email me if you're interested ( For the record, though, natural resource development projects have come to fruitation extensively since the 1970s in Québec. Do some research.

      Now, I'm not denying the fact that quite a few closures happened in Montréal recently, that's undeniable and believe me, it is as worrisome for me as it is for you (I'm assuming you do care, since you take the time to comment on that question). Again, that's not related to the Plan Nord and natural resources. Natural resources are actually going up right now. Montréal is going down, and that's because our manufacturing sector is in bad shape. Two different economic sectors. More natural resource development could help Montréal, though, generating head office jobs... Maybe.

      P.S. The street now called rue Saint-Jacques was actually always rue Saint-Jacques. It was opened under that name in 1672 and designated by François Dollier de Casson, then head honcho of Montréal, probably in honor of Jean-Jacques Olier de Verneuil. When the Brits took over, then went into a renaming craze, as always happens during regime changes. New masters like to erase the memory of those who preceded them.

    7. Damien, sure Toronto was catching up pretty quickly to Montreal economically back in 50's and I don't deny the role it played in its decline, but that bore very little negative impacts as a matter of fact. It was proven that Bill 101 was the main factor that prompted so many companies to flee. Take Sun-life insurance for instance, they even said it themselves they were leaving the city because of the language law in an article of the gazette and so did the bank of Montreal, which ironically, is also now head-quartered in Toronto. These allegations concerning those events that took place in the 70's and prior then, shows how much you separatists are willing to do everything to deny the fact that you are in fact mostly held responsible for its economic downfall. The fact of the matter is, if had not been of the PQ , still Montreal would be in an way better position to thrive by now than it is now, even if Toronto had surpassed it in size. and moreover, with the all political uncertainties hanging around the corner back then, companies didn't want take any chance to stay just in case if Quebec separated.

      as for the street name,whether your right or wrong, I'll leave it up to someone else to argue...

    8. First off, man never landed on the moon. It was all staged by the government, photographed on Earth. Speaking of the Earth, stop believing in the myth that it is round, we all know it is flat, look at the horizon and see for yourself. We also know that 9/11 was orchestrated by the government. Santa Claus is real, so is the Easter Bunny and Jesus Christ.

      Oh yeah, and Quebec is not in an economic decline, and even if it was, it was not caused by the PQ. Separatism has nothing to do with economic decline. I should know, Santa Claus just told me so!

    9. well in the 70's it was caused by the Parti de cul, believe it or not, since companies didn't want to put up with ludicrous 20,000 fines and saying that they were not responsible for it, is almost like saying that there holocaust happened back in nazi germany.

      and I bet you're also gonna come up saying that the holocaust was all a set up, that it never really happened?

      btw, do you have any evidence that man never landed on the moon???

    10. You want evidence?

      Just visit the OLF office on Sherbrooke street, go down to the cellar (mind the burned out lights and missing stairs), and look in the bottom of the locked filing cabinet, stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying "Beware of The Leopard".

      You'll find evidence that the moon landing was faked AND that the French language is endangered in Quebec too.

    11. I'll make sure I have my rifle with me to protect myself from the leopard just so he doesn't attack me!

      thank for letting me know about the possible dangers that could arise, that way, I'll surely walk out of there alive

    12. "P.S. The street now called rue Saint-Jacques was actually always rue Saint-Jacques. It was opened under that name in 1672 and designated by François Dollier de Casson, then head honcho of Montréal, probably in honor of Jean-Jacques Olier de Verneuil. When the Brits took over, then went into a renaming craze, as always happens during regime changes. New masters like to erase the memory of those who preceded them."

      Tell me about it...

    13. you should seriously consider making a come back lord Dorchester, along with St-James,St-Peters and so on.

  10. The only economically viable way to get the resources up north to market is either by rail (no rail lines exist) or by deep water port (none exist). So for all intents and purposes, those valuable minerals up there may as well be on the moon.
    Also, regarding the Old Harry oil field. That oil just happens to be in one of the most ecologically sensitive areas of the Gulf of St Lawrence. One major oil spill would have incalculable consequences.

    1. "One major oil spill would have incalculable consequences."

      Effectivement,vous avez totalement raison.Imaginez les craintes des gens des îles de la Madelaine avec l'industrie de la pêche comme principal revenu.

    2. They didn't dig for oil in Nouvelle France, you know...

  11. "...why the hell has the province been on severe decline ever since those seppies stepped into power for the first time..."

    Malheureux hasard,voilà tout.

    1. Do you sincerely believe this???

    2. hahaha!!!!

      "bad luck" . Whatever lets you sleep at night seppie. For the rest I hope its just a "bad dream" that we will wake from before its too late.
      But who am I kidding the world is already racing past Quebec at ever faster pace with a common denominator of the english language. As long as
      Quebecois majority refuse to recognise English as a must, they will forever fall further behind.

      Parts of me hope the seppies pay the ultimate price. I know I will be long gone..

    3. Connaissez-vous la fable de LaFontaine?Le lièvre et la tortue?

    4. False premises yield false conclusions.

      Most Québécois are right in recognizing English as a must, so I fail to see where you're going.

    5. I fail to see how credible you are in arguments,Damien. Frankly, You are full of shit and you are so pathetic on top of that.

      I am also starting to believe that you might be the one impersonating Michel Patrice as well since you also bring up that same old "TORONTO WAS CATCHING UP TO MONTREAL IN THE 50'S or "IT'S NOT BECAUSE OF BILL 101 THAT MONTREAL LOST ITS TITLE AS THE BUSINESS CENTER OF CANADA". For Pete sake, grow up and quit being in such denial of your movement's harmful impact over the provincial economy.. you only make it worst in compromising your credibility, you vile dush.

    6. Editor, for how long still will you tolerate this kind of hate speech. Do something.

      Non, sérieusement, c'est la foire d'empoigne ici. C'est le royaume de l'ad hominem, et surtout de l'ad personam. Est-ce vraiment le genre de débat que vous souhaitez dans votre blogue ? Croyez-vous que ce genre de choses a le potentiel de faire avancer les choses ?

      Just in this one post above by one of the countless Anonymous, I can count at least five ad personam attacks. Lesse:

      - "You are full of shit"
      - "pathetic"
      - Suggestion that I use a fake identity
      - Suggestion that I am immature and need to grow up
      - "vile dush"

      I wonder who needs to grow up. Me, or those who's conception of a healthy debate is to throw insults around.

    7. What??? Do those so called "personal attacks" get to you on a personal level. Are being so offended by them??? I mean, acting so childish and pulling the victim card will definitely not help the cause!!!

    8. I'm not personally offended. Drag me in the mud if you will, I don't give a damn.

      My point is that your behavior and hateful speech does not contribute to elevating the level of conversation here. You're obviously not interested in having a useful debate, in getting points across or convincing anybody. Not that I think you should care what some seppie stranger would think. But then, I wonder why you bother commenting on what I say. Is it to get the steam out ? If so, have you considered other ways to vent ? Like playing sports ? Or if you have such an urgent need to spit insults at guys like me specifically, then you are petty, and all the more for doing it anonymously on the internet.

    9. If you can't take it, then don't come on this blog. that's all what I had to say...Seppie

  12. So, separatists are like the tortise?

    Do you know that the "real world" doesn't operate like that of a childrens story book. I guess this is some typical rhetoric and reassurance to appease the
    uneducated, unworldly seppies.

  13. Les fables de La Fontaine = childrens story book ??? Hmmmmm...Quelle culture!

    1. So what is your point? When you boil it all down your quoting a childrens fable. Who cares!! Are you a child in age or just emotionally/ mentally? For the sake of you and others of your ilk, I hope you are but a child. For your info, globalization is not based on a child's fable. Time to grow up!

    2. if you want your children to be intelligent,read them fairy tales.

      - Albert Einstein

    3. Plus les Fables de Lafontaine are not child fables.

  14. Great article editor, I've been waiting for this one for a while.

    Somebody is going to have to do something about the big unions in this province someday. They've essentially become criminal organizations who believe themselves to be above even the government (FTQ anyone?). It's a great racket, because they manage to convince all the little uneducated working stiffs that they are working in their best interest, and they have gotten exceptional protection from past and present governments.

    I congratulate the companies who have had the guts to confront the unions, even if it means closing up shop and moving elsewhere. It's the only way to get people to realize what the unions really do - take money from their paycheck while driving business owners and investors away. Electrolux, Mabe, Shell, White Birch... I hope the union fat-cats are sharing some of their riches with the unemployed workers!

    As a final note, the company which produced the half time show for the Super Bowl is based in Montreal. Its name? Moment Factory.
    Language extremists, quick, to the OQLF website to file a complaint, go!

    1. God, I rarely read so much demagogery in a single paragraph. Are you a relative of Éric Duhaime or Richard Martineau ?

      Jokes asides, blaming it all on the Union scapegoat is simplistic and misinformed. A sad display of economic cluelessness if I ever saw one.

    2. "blaming it all on the Union scapegoat is simplistic and misinformed."

      No, I was just commenting on the union problem in this province. It's amusing to see how fast you jump when unions are mentioned though. I wonder what kind of job you have....

      Don't worry, just like the church before it, it'll take decades for people to realize how they're being exploited. So your precious unions will remain strong for many years to come.

  15. O Q L F = F L Q Occupiers!
    Goose walking Inspector Clouseau.
    Not a funny sight!!!

  16. "Language extremists, quick, to the OQLF website to file a complaint, go!"

    C'est fait...Merci de nous informer.

    1. Stop pretending you work for the OQLF. You're not fooling anyone.

    2. Je suis réellement un ex-agent de l'O.Q.L.F mais on m'a remercié de mes fonctions pour avoir organisé,à l'insu de mes supérieurs,un concours de chasse à l'anglouilles qui consistait à faire atteindre aux agents nos quotas de contraventions quotidiennes, en des temps records.

    3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    5. M.l'Éditeur c'était seulement les paroles d'une chanson très connue de Beck,célèbre et talentueux musicien américain.

    6. Where is the Wiesenthal centre when you need it?

    7. "Where is the Wiesenthal centre when you need it?"

      Probablement à un endroit plus utile.

    8. yes, if only the OQLF did the same...

    9. @ OQLF: so you're saying the OLQF isn't radical enough ??? :(

  17. Heard on CTV news this morning that Schwartz's has sold again. Apparently minority Shareholders are Celine Dion and hubby Rene. Maybe they will francize the name now :) Good place but overrated.

    1. The Main/Smoke Meat Pete is just as good, and no line ups or clueless tourists.

    2. The Dions are shrewd businesspeople, and they make most of their money in the States. You don't go and perform for years in Las Vegas as a household name if you object to the English language: they'll do whatever makes them earn more money.

  18. If these Gamblers and Pedophiles franchise Schwartz's, that will be the end of it...

  19. Je crois bien qu'ils devraient aussi changer le nom pour un nom plus facile à prononcer en français.Chouartse,ça sonne bien.

    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    2. There's 153 people called Schwartz in the phonebook of Paris, France. I'm sure that's French enough...!FE122NzBDzASb0xAB06DQ1AuppQChZaWFkT89TO7vMmTtwEKFT2U7XNkHqwR5QhS0g439Mr6*VNASdTH*zocgxHiUnAJWzxtJcbrgIvp5qWcywFQkElQA4kVSXHdEkiBKHiNW4LAHFDMGAQLAIWQ*AFmIEUM1PiOJXjrFW4AdoewVMrrS9M*XQz6tLkm0yh1zXDin3BXaCduamzGUm!rK5SI*XLRSVn3PFwtrYu9rL4tMv5VcR!dDY9YnubCvkn6lkzYfWtD7iYy6jbV1c1WLBTeJKp!grIsndDPd168M4o8TJxCs4340UXR1TgvMn8zIXs*z3h1kA71!i*dwelgQ23guu*Ue1Re9LCh4zOuHqw2jrUK5rsgLmOvuoE*xaR1YQ__&typ=r&q=schwartz&rewrited=&locality=paris&st=R

    3. Fair enough (never used it before), so here it goes:

    4. They even have a Jewish deli called "Schwartz'" in Paris.

    5. I remember reading in the Gazette or similar newspaper that China had Montreal targeted with nuclear missiles. Is this still true today?

      If it is, that would be a solution to Quebec's problems!

  20. "I remember reading in the Gazette..."

    Faites comme la plupart des gens intelligents,arrêtez de lire ce journal.

  21. Second, highlight the key benefit in your promotional letter in a header or bullet points (brief, clear and to the point). You really only have a few seconds for them to decide whether to actually read the letter or trash it.Forth, have a call to action and tell them what to do next - concretely. Meaning: call for a quote, call to book an appointment, order a brochure today, join your mailing list today or register on your web site.imassagetherapist