Wednesday, May 9, 2012

$7 Daycare Defines Quebec as Fiscally Challenged

 "...Denis Coderre, the politician, exclaimed that $7 daycare, "defines us as people." A professor at the University of Montreal adds, solemnly, "it is a symbol of Quebec's identity!" Link{Fr}
I actually agree with these two, but as you can imagine, not in the way they imagine........

For many taxpayers across Canada, watching Quebec's orgy of social spending, spiraling ever upward (much of it financed by taxpayers outside Quebec,) can be an infuriating and frustrating experience;

Many of you ask yourself quite openly; "Are they nuts, or am I?"

Seven dollar a day daycare, extended maternal and parental leave, low tuition rates for post secondary education, free in-vitro fertilization, cheap electricity rates, free prescription drugs, etc. etc.
On and on the list goes and it sounds like a famously good deal, a recipe for social harmony where people may pay more taxes, but receive so much more in benefits.

Many, if not most Quebecers are proud of the system they have created. Defenders of the mommy-state model, known in Quebec as the 'Gouvernemaman,' claim that Quebecers fund the system through higher taxes, (38% in Quebec versus 31% in Canada) and that it is a deliberate societal choice to pay more taxes for more services. 
In this respect, Quebec citizens may be unique in the world.

But is Quebec's policy of tax and overspending really something to be proud of?
More importantly does it make for a healthier and happier society? Hmmm....

The first thing to consider, is that as things stand today, the 'Gouvernemaman.' is not sustainable.

Even with transfer payments from Ottawa, there is not enough money coming into the government coffers to pay for the entitlements and so heavy borrowing has raised the province's debt load five-fold since 1984, making Quebec one of the most indebted societies in the world, a fact defenders of the system conveniently ignore.

Now comparing Quebec society to say, that of Alberta, which despite being wildly more affluent, doesn't offer these extended social services is difficult, because Quebec finances a part of these services with debt.
It's like comparing your lifestyle to that of your neighbor who is living it up on credit card debt, while you dutifully pay off your bills each month.

But putting the debt problem aside and with all other facts considered, an impartial observer would still come to the conclusion that the Quebec model is an unmitigated disaster.
In fact, it is so dysfunctional, it should serve as a global example of what can go wrong when governments run amok.

The first thing to consider, is that the Quebec government, despite the enormous taxing and borrowing, must still rob other programs to help pay for these perks and benefits.

The health system is so under-financed that waiting lists for surgeries extend into months and months and sometimes years and years. Hospital emergency rooms are operating at an average of 130% capacity and patients have an average wait of about twenty hours before being looked after.
Quebec has the highest penetration of private medicine of any province with services from the diagnostic to actual surgeries being offered for pay. The government turns a blind eye, because it is helping ease the congestion.
The wait time for a colonoscopy in one Montreal hospital is up to four years and so doctors unauthorized to do the procedure by the health board are offering patients a private alternative for about $500 to $600.
How do you spin the fact that 25% of Quebecers don't have a family doctor?
According to Health Minster Yves Bolduc, we should look on the bright side, the fact that 75% of Quebecers do have a family doctor!

Quebec roads and bridges are so neglected that having an overpass come crashing down or a bridge falling is something that Quebecers come to expect. Everyday, roads overpasses and bridges are closed on an emergency basis to effect emergency repairs that are usually nothing more than patch up jobs.
While Quebec students boycott classes to lower, some of the lowest tuition fees in Canada, the  university system is woefully under-financed.

Let's look at a poster boy of Quebec's social programs, the famous seven dollars a day daycare, which defenders have the audacity to tell us actually makes money for the government.
"Pierre Fortin, an economics professor at the University of Quebec at Montreal, presented his findings that for every dollar Quebec invests, it recoups $1.05 while Ottawa receives a 44-cent windfall."
 UQAM, need I say more?

Yup, defenders of the program, live in a fantasy world where every dollar spent by the government on daycare returns $1.49.

As one blogger pointed out, if such is the case, the government should pour billions and billions more into the system, filling all the demand for daycare places while making money to boot!

Such is the fantasy of the deluded and those who want to be deluded, including a Montreal Gazette columnist, copy and paste expert, Janet Bagnall, who repeated the outrageous nonsense here.

The first contention of these defenders, is that the subsidized daycare program has successfully put 70,000 Quebec women back to work, who would otherwise stay at home.

Poor Alberta, without $7 a day daycare, the province must be lagging far behind Quebec in the number of women in the workforce.
Credit l'antagoniste
errrr.....maybe not!

Nobody will deny that daycare allows women to return to the job market, but it is the cost of this daycare program in Quebec that is so outrageous.
Because the government runs daycare, employees are no longer babysitters, but are now unionized 'educators' and make up to $20 an hour plus benefits.

When first created in 1997, the subsidized daycare program (with non-unionized employees) had about 100,000 children in its care, at a cost of 526 million.
Today the program has a little more than 200,000 children (a little more than double,) but costs over 2 billion dollars, almost four times as much!

And of course, being unionized brings the added benefit of mandatory strikes and work stoppages every now and then.
Read a sad history of the program.  Historique des CPE{Fr}

Notwithstanding, those who defend the program, tell us it is money well spent, because it creates employment and economic activity.

They should all be forced to watch this video.


Let's break down the millions and billions spent on daycare by the government to numbers that we can comprehend.

The government spends 2 billion dollars to provide daycare for 200,000 which works out to $10,000 per child or $200 per week!
If a family puts two children into daycare the subsidy is $400 per week, that's right..$400

How about those 70,000 new jobs, created because of cheap daycare, which defenders of the system like to crow about.
Well, divide the $2 billion cost of the program by the number of jobs it created (70,000) and it turns out that each job costs the government about $28,000 per year to support, a little high considering that the average wage that the Quebec women earn is $28,500!
The math gets even more alarming when one subtracts from that average wage $1,750 (one child) or ($3,500) the portion that parents contribute to daycare annually.

Let's remember that the program was conceived to allow women to get into the workforce who could otherwise not afford to. The program wasn't designed for lawyers or doctors.
How the government or defenders of the system can justify spending $28,000 to support a job that pays less, is the million dollar $2 billion question!

Added to this, is the farcical situation where everyone but everyone is eligible, even millionaires and so it's no wonder that the Quebec run daycare system is desperately short of places!
There is no centralized wait-list and so scoring one of the rare vacancies is a matter of who you know or how much you are willing to pay under the table.

By the way, you don't even need a job to qualify your child for subsidized daycare.
You can drop off the little tyke in your Rolls-Royce, have a spa day or go shopping in Ogilvy's or Holt-Renfrew, secure in the knowledge that taxpayers are subsidizing your child's care!
Wonderful!
Think I'm exaggerating?

Here's a story told by David Descôteaux, one of Quebec's best bloggers on issues of econonics.
On a television show discussing Qebec's $7 daycare;

"....
talk to Mauricio, a taxi driver in Notre Dame de Grace. One morning, Mauricio stops his car outside an opulent home in Westmount. "A lady comes out of this chateau, he tells us, bypasses the impressive Hummer that is parked in the entrance, and jumps into my taxi with her granddaughter. I drive them to the daycare and then I bring the lady home.
"Excuse me? The cost of the taxi ride exceeds the $ 7 that this lady pays for child care expenses for the whole day. Meanwhile, the boy of a mother from Lachine  drives a rusty 1995 Tercel, and is stuck on a three-year waiting list! Link{Fr}

Readers, if you're shaking your head in disbelief, I sympathize.

Hey...wait a second
On re-reading the story above, I get the sinking feeling it is an exaggeration, another famous 'Speak White' concoction, complete with the requisite evil anglo from Westmount as the antagonist.
But I digress.....

The Quebec daycare system is so ill-conceived, expensive and poorly run that one has to suspend critical thinking (are you listening Ms Bagnall?) to believe that it is a worthwhile program.

It's no wonder that in the thirteen years since its inception, every single province and state which looked at the Quebec model of daycare, rejected it out of hand.

The fact that Quebecers are proud of this program boggles the mind and puts into question the intelligence of the average voter.

The first rule of sound financial management, is something every head of household masters early on is......Never overpay.

How many families would choose to hire a babysitter at a rate of $20 per hour plus another $8 for benefits?
Who would choose to pay $15 for a glass of orange juice..... only the government.

Seven dollar a day daycare is an unmitigated financial disaster and those who defend it are the direct beneficiaries or outright idiots, adherents to the 'Broken window fallacy.'

For those in the rest of Canada, a bit jealous of the program, remember the consequences of overpaying for anything.
It means less money to pay for other things, like bridges and hospitals.

108 comments:

  1. Editor,

    It is interesting to read about the Broken Window Fallacy. It reminds me of the time when I was in the francisation class and having a debate with the Agent d'integration.

    She said that Bill 101 and the French language requirements are actually economically beneficial for the society. Of course, my premise was that it was not. My evidence was the move of BMO, RBC and Sun Life out of Montreal, and the jobs they had with them.

    The agent said that because of Bill 101, there was great demands for translation services since companies - many of them had most of their businesses in English - needed to translate their documents and services to French. Of course, the fallacies are: a) companies then needed to pay translation services which they had not needed before, b) the jobs created by translation services are far less and far less paid by the jobs lost by relocation.

    Speaking of which, Editor, do you have Prof. Fortin argument as to how governments can gain profit from daycare subsidies?

    Oh, and my last comment. Who created the $7 daycare concept? PQ government. That is why it is my believe that their evil separatist idea aside, the PQ is not good for government. Too bad that the QLP does not have the testicular fortitude to change the stupid situation.

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    1. So she said that it was all "economically beneficial", and an example she gave was "there was great demands for translation services since companies".

      By saying this, she was too general and simplistic, and showed that she can't see the bigger picture that. The translation stuff (and the "language industry" as a whole) was in fact economically beneficial, but only for her and a few others. But was it overall beneficial? Were the politically-contingent "translations" essential to the running of the business? Did it contribute to the economy at large? Or was it, in the words of Brian Lee Crowley (author of Fearful Symmetry) "pretend-work", something very common at the time of Trudeau and Levesque?

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    2. I love you both. In a platonic way, of course.

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    3. "I love you both. In a platonic way, of course"

      Of course...Ouais c'est ça.Vous êtes au Québec,pas besoin de vous cacher.

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    4. I first read about the broken window fallacy in a book that deconstructs "socialist" (leftist) arguments. It has stuck with me to this day. I didn't agree with all of the book, but it certainly gave me a new perspective on a lot of things.

      The government never really "creates" jobs. It takes the money from one place and puts it somewhere else. That can be good or bad, depending. For instance, our healthcare system is much more cost-effective than the American one. But to listen to these libertarians, everything the government ever does is tainted by its evil government paw.

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    5. @Yannick, do you remember what that book is called?

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    6. "Clichés of Socialism" - was a spur of the moment buy in one of those old independant bookstores with really old books. It was published by the foundation for economy education in 1970. It's kind of propaganda-ish, but there are good arguments in there. The broken window is the one that stuck the most.

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    7. That 1970 book was a reprint of the original 1962 edition and an updated version of it was published in 2010 called “How to Argue With a Liberal...and Win!". An image of the full text is available here. There are 76 of these clichés and the one that refers to the Broken Window Fallacy is #52, “Wars bring jobs and prosperity”.

      After recounting the same information as in the video, it ends with:

      So we have finished with the broken window. An elementary fallacy. Anybody, one would think, would be able to avoid it after a few moments' thought. Yet the broken window fallacy, under a hundred disguises, is the most persistent in the history of economics. It is more now than at any time in the past. It is solemnly reaffirmed every day by great captains of industry, by chambers of commerce, by labor union leaders, by editorial writers and newspaper columnists and radio commentators, by learned statisticians using the most refined techniques, by professors of economics in our best universities. In their various ways they all dilate upon the advantages of destruction.

      Though some of them would disdain to say that there are net benefits in small acts of destruction, they see almost endless benefits in enormous acts of destruction. They tell us how much better off economically we all are in war than in peace. They see "miracles of production" which it requires a war to achieve. And they see a world made prosperous by an enormous "accumulated" or "backed-up" demand. In Europe they joyously counted the houses, the whole cities that had been leveled to the ground and that "had to be replaced." In America they counted the houses that could not be built during the war, the nylon stockings that could not be supplied, the worn-out automobiles and tires, the obsolescent radios and refrigerators. They brought together formidable totals.

      It was merely our old friend, the broken-window fallacy, in new clothing, and grown fat beyond recognition.



      I’m confused. So if being liberal equals being socialist (not sure about that), then does understanding the Broken Window Fallacy (and consequently, subsidized daycare) make me a conservative??

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    8. I told you it was a propaganda piece. These guys are against the minimum wage, or public pension plans, or publically owned anything.

      But understanding how your opponent thinks is important, I think, even (or especially if!) you don't agree with him. And plus, there were some truly inspiring arguments in there, like the one about the broken window fallacy.

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  3. Putting in perspective the cost of day care in Alberta. My daughter had a child in day care about 3 years ago. The costs were about 900.00 per month. Assuming 20 days per month the cost was then about 45.00 per day. Compare this with the subsidized program in Quebec where my other daughter had a child in day care whilst attending post secondary education. She in fact paid about 7.00 per day and had no problem getting a space in NDG. This works out to a difference of 7.00 vs 45.00 or approximately 7 times less money in Quebec. Is there any wonder people in the West are somewhat critical of the equalization money being doled out to Quebec to support social programs they themselves, feel are not affordable. On a side bar, the one day care worked I talked to during a visit to Quebec was a nice young lady who was very qualified to work with children as she was actually a pediatrician from Algiers, who of course was not allowed to practice in Quebec.

    Broken window fallacy?...you bet.

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  4. Quebec is really sleepwalking towards danger. No polititician will ever dare challenge the sacred cows that have come to define Quebec even though they have cost us our shirts AND the farm! With a $280 Billion Provincial debt, 20 years of budget deficits (proof Quebec is unable to control spending), a manufacturing sector that is in virtual free fall thanks to a high petro dollar (politics aside) we are in for a world of hurt here in Quebec. Comparing Quebec to Greece economically is actually not that far off. The only thread that is holding Quebec back from the edge of the cliff is the rest of Canada, and even that thread is starting to fray. There is a movement brewing in the ROC to cast Quebec off and let her flounder on her own, a velvet divorce if you will. If that happens, the smart money will move out and your house just got a whole lot more affordable ( see house listings in Trois Rivière on www.mls.ca). A few years of lean Government spending could put us back in black on the deficit front but even that is unpalatable to the ignorant masses that have grown accustomed to the state paying for everything and taking responsibility for everything. Claude Bachand, Quebec's finance minister is guaranteeing a balanced budget for 2013. We've heard that song for the past 2 decades and it's been off each time. The citizens in Quebec are in for a real nasty financial hair cut in the near future and the sad thing is most of them have no clue there is even a problem.

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    1. LD: What is the name of this "movement" brewing in the ROC? I'd love to know, and possibly sign up.

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    2. See National Post this coming Friday May 11. All week they have been soliciting their readers to send in Letters to the Editor about Quebec's future in Canada. Don't expect a "Love in".

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    3. It will take more than a few years in the black to have any effect on the debt.

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    4. That article can be seen here. Since the right-wing press in Canada can be rated on a scale of 1 to National Post, the results may not be too surprising.

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  5. Interestingly enough, I was talking about this with my fellow students at UdeM, and they actually agreed with me. I was shocked. Sadly, they all still voted to continue the student strike last night, so I'm still screwed.

    Ed. multiple you've stated that "[...]Quebec (is) one of the most indebted societies in the world, a fact defenders of the system conveniently ignore." I would sincerely like to see some numbers on that so I can better educate myself so I can in turn show it to others.

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    1. Frank, encourage your like minded Francophone friends to become actively engaged in politics. Quebec will never get out of this quagmire without new Francophone leaders that can see the big picture and can see beyond silly language issues that hinder wealth creation.
      One factoid that you may like is that Quebec has more civil servants that the state of California (pop 37million).

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    2. Here ya go Frank:

      Canada’s debts are at a ratio of 90% of GDP mostly due to chronic overspending by Quebec and Ontario. Their profligacy is in stark contrast with Canada’s three westernmost provinces.

      A simple extrapolation of their deficits will land them in the same category as Greece or 130% of GDP if their cultures of spending don’t change.

      Quebec’s total debt in March 2010 was $160.117 billion, according to Finance Quebec. This represents 53.2% of its Gross Provincial Product. Then there is Hydro Quebec, municipal and various other debt obligations which brings the total to $218.48 billion or 72.6% of its economy. Add to that Quebec’s share of the federal debt and the burden is 117.6% of GDP.


      Canada’s profligate provinces

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    3. Eeeeeeh. Alberta and Saskatchewan benefit mostly from happening to live on top of a giant puddle of oil. Newfoundland is now reaping the same benefits. Granted, they didn't waste their oil income on 7$ daycares, but many provinces have no such programs and have debts similar (but lower than) Quebec's.

      @Frank : Look at this website, it's the only one I've found who does a sort of comparison between provinces.

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    4. @Frank The website Yannick refers you to:

      The team at ENAP's L'Observatoire de l'administration publique and the members of the Groupe de recherche comparative sur l'État québécois (GRECQ) are delighted to present Canadian Governments Compared, an online publication dedicated exclusively to the interprovincial comparison of public administrations.

      Les collaborateurs aux activités du GRECQ
      Joseph Facal, professeur à HEC Montréal


      The rest of the trustworthy members:
      http://www.etatquebecois.enap.ca/fr/index.aspx?sortcode=1.6.10

      @Yannick - You really need to stop reading crap like that :)

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    5. It's the only one I could find that had all the provinces compared. Biased as they might be (they are from Quebec! Gasp!) they still put Quebec as the most indebted province of them all. The Maritimes aren't far behind, next to us Quebec is a have province! In terms of GDP/capita and jobs, in any case.

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    6. Biased as they might be (they are from Quebec! Gasp!)

      They aren't biased because they're from Quebec (the link I provided uses the Quebec governments own data), its because they're a bunch of separtists (they tend to lie).

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    7. That it does, but it doesen't compare it with other poor provinces. It compares Quebec's debt with "I live on top of an infinite cash machine" Alberta and Saskatchewan. Not really a fair comparison IMO. Ontario, Manitoba, the Maritimes, BC even (yes, BC's debt is low) are much better comparisons.

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  6. Notre système socialiste a ces ratés car semble-t-il que la communauté anglo augmente sans cesse...Allez comprendre.

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    1. Yet more proof that separatists suck at math and logic but in their syphilitic minds are always right.

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    2. He must be a graduate from DDUÀM (Daffy Duck University à MontrEal)

      WA

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  7. The rest of Canada is fed up with this system. Quebec can't continue to reap the seeds that other provinces sow. When the smack down comes from Ottawa the entitled terrorists in Quebec will only have themselves to light on fire and beat with rocks.

    Think about it, what are these spoiled bullies going to do with all the rage they have when increases occur in programs that are insanely over funded...Seriously what are they going to do! Come by the bus loads to Ottawa and threaten to kick our asses?

    Bring it on dreamers, It would be a fantastic time to take Quebec back from the blackmailers for heinous terrorist violations against our flag. Quebec breaks our laws for Canadian democracy every day, all day long.

    I'd love to see armed brigades running these criminals straight into a reality based social structure and economy.

    If they don't want to play the Canada game, the pseudo revolutionists can hide in the hills tapping maple syrup....How padded is that industry? Bet the producers have access to all sorts of free shit and so it goes......

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    1. Well, Anon, I like what you had to say the first 3 paragraphs, and I'm hoping Harper is vindictive enough to stick it hard to Quebec in 2014 when the new equalization formula is due. Harper already has it in for Charest with the latter's little trick of taking $700 million in federal transfers to Quebec for program purposes but then Charest turns it into a $700 million tax cut provincially labelling himself the hero. I'm very hopeful Harper's payback to Quebec will be made loud and clear at that time.

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    2. I got an ax to grind in those other naffy paragraps

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    3. Nous aurons besoin de plus $ en 2014 et Harper n'aura pas le choix avec la menace orange (NPD) et les élections qui s'annonceront.

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    4. Mulcair en tête aux dernier sondages (quoique ce soit une égalité statistique, je crois qu'un seuil psychologique a été passé)

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    5. Oh, Anon @ 12:52AM, Harper has lots of choices! This NDP mennace you write about is not going away, and the Quebec voters spoke loud and clear in the last election what they were asked;...and didn't want!

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    6. Mardi asses think they are entitled to the land Quebec sits on to control the language and the flimsy ethics. What do the Mohawk have to say about that? Why don't we let Mohawks decide her fate. These Quebec french fascists are too retarded, how does that happen? It's like saying the earth is flat.

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    7. "Why don't we let Mohawks decide her fate."

      Parce que ce serait une catastrophe...A total mess

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    8. The Mohawk certainly couldn't do a worse job than the Quebecois.

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    9. Your posts are filled with so much hate. It is disgusting!

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  8. Its kinda brilliant on the PQ's side. They make these subsidized programs that are paid for via equalizations payments from the rest of canada.

    The west ends up hating QC because they are sucking all their hard earned money and the PQ gets support from the separatist voting camp since they are perceived as being a great gouvernment who cares about the population.

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    1. Good point MTL_scotsman. I am curious to see what will happen when Stephen Harper and his party will come face to face with the next Banana Republic government ( lets face it PQ is going to win ) and they will need to renegotiate the equalization payment formula. Harper does not need Quebec and reflects Western sentiments towards Quebec and the PQ hate everyone from the ROC so this will be very interesting to watch.

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    2. Ce ne sera qu'un pas de plus vers notre souveraineté...Héhé!

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    3. You will never have sovereignty. An 'independent' Quebec will exist in complete dependency to its neighbours. From partner to a Canadian federation, Quebec will become an object of exploitation for Canada and the US. Personally, I believe you richly deserve this kind of'independence' so you can become the colonized people you always complain that you are. I will be voting 'oui' in the next referendum in the grand hope that your future holds tanks in the streets and/or total economic servitude to any powers that seek to exploit your gaping vulnerability. The welfare state of Quebecois inefficiency, laziness, expectations of special status and doles of dollars to keep it all afloat will be over. It will be a minimum wage existence for a minimum social system and culture.

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    4. ... something about forgetting our past and being bound to repeat it.

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    5. "I will be voting 'oui'..."

      Merci pour le "oui" mais voter pour charest aura le même effet :)

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    6. Too bad Quebec won't vote oui in any future referendum because there are too many immigrants who came to Quebec believing they are a part of Canada. The Quebec government, of course, doesn't see things this way, but the immigrants have their own ideas, and that was to share the Canadian dream, no matter what b.s. these immigrant integrators say. The immigrants don't by it, so with the «pur laine» population dwindling because they don't produce babies like baryard sows anymore the way the Roman Catholic church wanted it to be, the old sows are now dying off in droves and won't be able to replenish themselves. Fewer «pur laine» sows = lessened chances of separation. Oh well...too bad, because I see a separated Quebec as a flat broke Quebec going back to $150-a-month welfare cheques like it used to be for single people under 30, able-bodied or not. They'll be lucky of they get $100 cheques!

      Quebec has the highest suicide rate in Canada now, so imagine if welfare is cut to the quick or cut out altogether.

      Think the lazy asses of Quebec even then will think of extracting their natural resources from the ground? Fat chance! They'd rather DIE than work!

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    7. "...even then will think of extracting their natural resources..."

      Nous respectons l'environnement contrairement à l'alberta.

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    8. The Quebecois do not respect the environment. Many pristine river valleys and immense tracts of forested land were destroyed by the reservoirs created when hydro-electric installations were built.

      Too much fresh water is being released from these reservoirs into James Bay in the winter, which is having an extremely damaging effect on the hydrology and sea-ice ecology of James Bay and Hudson Bay. Tens of thousands of eider ducks, which depend on patches of open water in Hudson Bay in the winter (they don't migrate) are dying off because of the actions of Hydro Quebec. The Native people who live in the area are also being adversely affected.

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  9. If you want to laugh:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5jj_-IXEb0&feature=youtu.be

    The guy is the Hawaiian shirt asks for a suggestion where he can eat in French. (I suppose the main preoccupation of a hungry tourist to Montreal is not just eating, but eating in French.) Mario Beaulieu then starts a rant about the sweet life of the blaspheming Montrealers who do not live, breathe, and sleep in the ordained language.

    I'm curious about a few things:

    1. What is the mental age of the two gentlemen featured in this video?
    2. Given that these two and their organization are somewhat in the spotlight lately, why aren't there any Quebeckers coming forward to denounce them? Aren't they ashamed of this? Don't they feel obliged to let everyone know that not every Quebecker is like this?
    3. Who pays M.Beaulieu's salary?

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    1. What an embarrassment to Quebec. Everyone please "dislike" this video.

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    3. adski,

      After watching the clip again (against my better judgement), I realized something. Beaulieu is lamenting how everything is anglicized in Montreal. How one can get by easily in English in Montreal. However, he does not say anything about the hardship of living in French in Montreal.

      You see, all that they are protesting is about the presence of English in Montreal. They seldom mention about the lack of French in Montreal establishments. Why? Simply because it is very rare that a business in Montreal is unable to serve its customers in French. It does not have to be a zero-sum game. It does not have to be 80% French 20% English or 100% French and no English. A Montreal business can easily be 100% French and 100% English.

      Since they start with restaurant, take my favorite steak house for example, The Keg at Place Ville-Marie. Despite its name and the fact that it is a franchise from British Columbia, majority of the servers there are francophones. They are obviously more comfortable speaking in French with their customers even though all of them speak English completely. It is the Keg after all. Just go to the bar at lunch time. The bartender, Catherine, speaks with obvious French accent while she serves your food and drink in English.

      The point is, it seems like what they mean by protection of French language means the eradication of English language. Not only from the usage in communication but also from the consciousness of the population. And this is the point that I think their intention is malicious. This has gone beyond defending their right to be served in French to oppressing our right to communicate, among us, in the language of our choice.

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    4. Just to play devil's advocate, he does mention in passing the harship of living in Montreal by saying that "sometimes, in a café, one may encounter a barrista that still remembers a bit of french". I would also say that he implies that the languages in Montreal are a zero-sum game : any gain of english services is automatically a loss of french services.

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    5. Troy: "Beaulieu is lamenting how everything is anglicized in Montreal."

      And interestingly, that contradicts his (and his group's) frequent assertion that Montreal is a French city. When he says "Montreal is a French city" (or even "second largest French city in the world"), he really wants to say Montreal should be French. At least according to him, others like him, and the 1977 law that sanctions this kind of thinking. (my biggest problem with 101 is not as much what it does, but how it sanctions certain acts).

      This is again a case of the having the cake and eating it too mentality. When it suits them politically, they overplay the French presence in Montreal (as when telling immigrants what language to pick), other times they overplay the presence of English (as when demanding reinforcements to Bill 101 for example). It's a win-win for them, lose-lose for us. The problem for them is that we don't buy their selective argumentation.

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    6. Troy: "It does not have to be a zero-sum game. It does not have to be 80% French 20% English or 100% French and no English. A Montreal business can easily be 100% French and 100% English."

      Good point. And in most cases, it is French-English together. Just because a clerk serves someone in English at this moment, it doesn't mean he won't be serving someone else in French the next.

      In your last paragraph at 10:49am, you hit the nail on the head. It means that the people who claim to defend themselves are in fact the attackers. Just like to US strike against Iraq was not an act of defense against WMDs but an act of aggression on another country. And what Beaulieu et al. do is in fact a type of preemption, which is a very faulty doctrine that can be so easily abused and applied to made-up threats.

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  10. adski,

    Just FYI, the doofus pretending to be tourist is Denis Trudel, supposedly an actor (?) and the spokesman for MQF. I think I noted is, WTF are they doing? Regardless what the message is, how are people suppose to take them seriously?

    On a lighter note, why do they (and other separatist and French language hard-liner groups) take their cause to YouTube and Facebook? Should they not be Tube-Toi and Livre de visage? I may sound silly, but these are the men who declared that the store Little Burgundy must be renamed Petite Bourgogne and Payless ShoeSource be Source des souliers a bas prix.

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    1. Troy, they also insisted on "descriptives" even though by law "descriptives" are not required. They pushed for it nonetheless and I always maintained that businesses should not back down because, other than the demand being insulting, adding a modifier won't satisfy the militants anyways. The time proved me right. Les Cafés Second Cup came under attack. Lunetterie New Look came under attack. Cafés Star Bucks is also listed as an "offender" on the MQF website: http://quebecfrancais.org/node/3435

      As for their facebook page, it's funny when a person accepts the invite, it says "is attending" next to his/her name. I'm not sure how their webmasters let such linguistic transgression pass. But maybe they can't do anything about it.

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    2. Facebook can be operated in Canadian French. That changes all of those things. It also provides you with a translate button for people/things you are following.

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    3. Facebook en français c'est "face de bouc".

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    4. Another interesting thing about that video is the comments. In the top rated one, the guy talks about the "cultural genocide", the decline of French, Canada being the grave of the French fact, and he ends with this: "Seule l'indépendance du Québec pourra assurer l'avenir du français en Amérique, et nous permettre de soutenir nos compatriotes du reste du Canada. "

      Now, if Quebec were to split off from Canada, how would it support its compatriots in the rest of the country? Do seppies really think that in an event of a break up they could still control what goes on in Canada? Keep the OLA? Keep the federal govt bilingual? Demand bilingualism coast to coast? Participate in money transfers? Keep their guaranteed market share for their dairy products in ON (in 1995 Bouchard assured the farmers of that, and they bought it)?

      I know that having a cake and eating it too is nice, but reality should also be taken into consideration from time to time.

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    5. They might be able to continue the "Centre de la francophonie des Amériques", seeing as it's not directly governmental. As for the rest, yes it's lunacy.

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    6. Yannick,

      The fact that Facebook provides its site in various languages is not an issue. The issue that I have with them is that they happily use sites named Facebook and YouTube on one hand while on the other hand they insist that the companies I wrote above have their name francisized.

      adski,

      Why do you have any doubt? Of course independent Quebec will be able to support Canadian francophone communities more. If Canada represses them even more, Quebec will launch offensive operations to invade, occupy and liberate the francophone land. Just like what the United States did to Iraq and Afghanistan. After all, independent Quebec will be much more powerful and stronger than it is now, will it not?

      ;-)

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    7. Yes Troy, I also think it is ridiculous. I was in fact replying to adski's comment : "As for their facebook page, it's funny when a person accepts the invite, it says "is attending" next to his/her name. I'm not sure how their webmasters let such linguistic transgression pass. But maybe they can't do anything about it."

      The fact that it says "is attending" depends only on the user's language settings. Short of banning language settings other than Canadian French in Quebec... :P

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    8. @Troy: true... I guess "Livre de visages" and "Tube de toi" will help to preserve the French language and culture in North America.

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    9. Even Trudeau, when he was PM, said if Quebec separates, they'll have to speak even more English than they do now. Makes sense. Aside from NB, who will speak French in Canada anymore, if only for the anger of the problems that would be caused by separation? Dairy farmers in Quebec will be cut in half as nobody will be obliged to buy their milk if they separate, so half their consumers will be living in a foreign country.

      Outside Quebec, the backlash against French will be such that the French language communities will be told it's English or bust! Goodbye obligatory bilingual packaging, goodbye government services in French, goodbye to literature in French.

      The Constitution, for those who want to wave it in our faces, will be changed right quick to eliminate French when 96% of a Quebecless Canada doesn't speak French. Quebec will be as broke as Greece, and with no common currency (the Canadian dollar would only last in Quebec for a month maximum), they'll have to put out their own currency about as valuable as the Zimbabwe dollar, and here is an article from two years ago: http://www.cato.org/zimbabwe There wasn't even a $100 trillion dollar bill then like there is now, and it can't even buy a dozen eggs!

      Here is the image, folks! This would be Quebec after separation: http://www.google.ca/imgres?q=zimbabwe+hundred+trillion+dollar+bill&um=1&hl=en&rlz=1R2TSCA_enCA395&biw=1197&bih=616&tbm=isch&tbnid=UheYR9H2aMtybM:&imgrefurl=http://www.creditwritedowns.com/2009/01/zimbabwe-the-100-trillion-dollar-note.html&docid=CKg_Eiq1B00bQM&imgurl=http://www.creditwritedowns.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/Zimbabwe-100-trillion.jpg&w=600&h=300&ei=20mrT_X4Aon28wTZ4ZEa&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=90&vpy=163&dur=8053&hovh=159&hovw=318&tx=122&ty=176&sig=103677647147938052266&page=1&tbnh=91&tbnw=182&start=0&ndsp=18&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:0,i:69

      Yup, I tested this portal link, and it works. Scary, isn't it, and this bill is now four years old and probably isn't worth a shadow if its former self!

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    10. Mr.Donut please use tinyurl.

      Thx

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  11. You may enjoy reading this blog that highlights the bigger picture of Quebec's financial state

    http://moecitizen.blogspot.ca/2012/04/thank-you-alberta.html

    Your feedback welcome.

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  12. If only the separatists coud win a referendum with a fair question and take their partitioned state out of Canada those of us in the ROC would be delighted to watch them go and just shake our heads as an independent Quebec using Canadian currency would go bankrupt and default on its bond obligations just like Greece. Anyone who thinks tis would not happen is smoking something.

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    1. I'm more for a radical reaction against Quebec policies and racism by those of us living here. Open disobedience to all linguistic legislation, destruction of public property that forces French dominance on us, street signs that are unilingually French and those street names that have been changed to erase the historical presence of anglophones and allophones in the province. The next time an OLF stooge marches into your establishment, pelt him with eggs and rotten tomatoes. A little assault charge for a lifetime of pleasure. Stop whining on your damn computers and get out there and do something! Resist, resist, resist!

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    2. For some perspective. Since the FLQ bombings more than a million people have left Quebec under a perceived and real threat. This is probably the largest migration in North America since The Native Americans a century earlier. Those that remained have been stripped of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, have no political representation and are subjected to fascism and rogue politics within the Canadian democracy existing as second class citizens in their home and as shadows to the ROC. All this to the shame of federal and provincial governments that allow the situation to continue. The time for discussions and political solutions is long past because none who hold power are willing to do anything at all about it. Pointing out the douchebaggery of Quebec on this blog has its uses, but the only way this situation will change is through struggle. They've pushed us and they keep leaning on us as we pack our bags and turn into refugees in our own country. Push back. Do whatever it takes to reclaim your Canadian citizenships, the rights guaranteed to you as citizens and your self respect!

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    3. I'd call cops bursting into your house in the middle of night, flipping your entire contents all over. Taping our phone and following us wherever we went cause to be afraid and get the hell outta dodge. Happened to my family in Quebec way worst then I wrote

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  13. "...more than a million people have left Quebec..."

    D'autres disent 200 milles,certains affirment 1/2 million...Qui dit la vérité?

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    1. If the Anglo and Ethnics started planting bombs in Quebec City, passed legislation that virtually outlawed French and made English the only official language of the city, forcing 200,000 Francophones to leave the province, would the number matter to you?

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  14. "have no political representation and are subjected to fascism and rogue politics within the Canadian democracy existing as second class citizens in their home and as shadows to the ROC."

    Nous avons tenu ce rôle pendant très longtemps et nous sommes toujours là.Accrochez-vous et tout ira bien,vous verrez.

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  15. "If the Anglo and Ethnics started planting bombs in Quebec City..."

    Pour quelles raisons agiraient-ils de la sorte?Voilà la question.

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    1. This has been the environment that non Francophone Montreal has been subjected to from the sixties until the present.

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  16. Quebec is pretty well done in..by their own debt.

    Without transfer payments they would be about 13 percent worse off.

    The province is addicted to welfare they receive from the ROC.

    The reality of the situation is that Ottawa has taken away their will to work and make their own way. Just like a drug addict, Quebec is addicted to welfare as it is an easy street to live one and the alternative is too actually work and pay for their own programs.

    Question is, what will they do when and if things change and the welfare disappears. Can they make it on their own at their current standard of social programs...Not likely.

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  17. Hot off the E-Town Journal press: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/Stelmach+Watch+East/6595292/story.html

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    1. I love how he ways that "hating on alberta" gets you votes. No one's ever gotten a single vote by bashing Quebec or Ontario, huh?

      I suppose it's a mercy that he left the Maritimes out of it.

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  18. Slightly OT. Here's a 12 year old explaining how the banks (in collusion with the government) are stealing from every Canadian (they've been doing it since the '70s).

    Public Banking in America Conference, Philadelphia, PA

    The clip is under 7 minutes and she's correct in all she says. Smart(er than the average adult)kid!

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    1. An addendum: For those interested, the scumbag (Prime Minister) Trudeau was in charge when we were "sold out" to the banks. Guess he (and the banksters) found Quebecs' language BS a useful distraction!

      If you didn't watch the clip, we're currently being ripped off by $90 billion a year (126 million a day)!

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    2. correction: s/b $60 billion a year

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    3. And $160 million a day.

      Must have coffee...

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    4. I don't believe this was her own personal opinion based on her own personal experience. It sounds like she was coached (if not actually brainwashed) into citing Jesus in making a perfectly memorized economic argument.

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  19. Yannick, here is an example of something which is no doubt a case of nationalism:

    17 secs in: “Notre objectif central est de faire du francais la langue commune et officielle au Quebec, la langue de tous les Quebecois.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKpmqxLISzI&feature=relmfu

    Notice the aggressive and pro-active nature of this statement: we will go after the "others" and make them in our image. This is not a passive and defensive stance of a patriot, but an attacking stance of a nationalist. And it's not the same as a visceral, spur-of-the-moment, and instinctive (and more or less natural) reaction to someone who settles in QC and refuses to speak French. Instead, it's a planned, organized, rationalized, and ideological action.

    Rationalization quickly follows. The speaker goes on saying: "Si on veut former une société coherente et inclusive, il faut que tous les citoyens puissent se parler dans une langue commune, qui est le francais"

    This second part is a justification the guy's xenophobia. It's a rationalization, an excuse. And it's not uncommon. I'm currently reading an excellent book by Ronald Wright entitled "What is America? A Short History of the New World Order" about the founding and spread of the USA. It is striking how every imperialist move westward and expropriation and killings of the natives was explained away by presidents, politicians, settlers, etc...as something positive and part of "manifest destiny". In fact, the New York Herald in 1847 egged on James Polk, the 11th president of the US, to go after Texas and called the bloody annexation of Texas a move towards making the society inclusive and cohesive.

    If only people were more willing to study history.... Wouldn't it be great if everybody knew that what we're living right now is just a repeat of some event (or events) from the past? And that those that make claims today to some kind of "natural order" are simply acting out their biases and self-interest?

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    1. I agree with you adski. It's ironic, since the "we need a society that can speak in one language" argument is the one that was used to justify assimilation everywhere but more specifically Acadia, western Canada and Louisiana. That the separatists can on one hand use these examples as an evil to avoid, and on the other pursue the same kind of rhetoric, is hypocritical. I am unconvinced by the argument that it's ok in this case, since the anglophones have the rest of North America as their playground.

      Speaking as to natives and Manifest Destiny - a British diplomat tasked with negotiating the end of the 1812 war commented on how flabbergasted he was by how Americans considered it their god-given duty to remove the natives from the map. Of course not that the British were too much better, but they weren't quite as bad as the Americans in that regard. I don't think we've ever pushed a native nation in Canada so far that they've felt the need to try their luck in a desperate war lost in advance except for the second Riel uprising.

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  20. KAY-BEC knows how! For a little change of subject, how about that smoke bomb in the Metro this morning, and this dude, banned in most of French speaking Europe for inciting hate, has been booked for live anti-Semitic spew shows in Montreal: http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/05/10/anti-semitic-comic-ostracized-in-europe-booked-in-montreal/

    KAY-BEC knows how! With Shimon Perez in town today, what's in store for him? KAY-BEC knows how!

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    1. "how about that smoke bomb in the Metro this morning"

      What about it? Acts of terrorism aren't punished in this province, because our government is too weak.

      Remember last year, how the unions got the construction workers to all walk out on the same day, holding the province hostage?
      Nobody got punished for that illegal strike (and the criminal actions undertaken by union members, such as shutting off the air supply to underwater divers), because the unions claimed it wasn't planned or authorized by them.

      All the students (who are obviously responsible for this) need to do is claim that it wasn't them, and voila! All will be fine, nobody will get caught or punished, and the government will continue to negotiate with the terrorist groups known as "student unions" (CLASSE).

      To go even further, I predict that these anarchists / extremists / terrorists will, in the future, become the heroes of a new generation of language extremists/separatists, just like the FLQ. Separatists/extremists are willing to defend murder by the FLQ, I'm sure a few smoke bombs by some hippies will be nothing.

      The student unions need to be declared illegal criminal organizations. Actually, so do the labour unions in this province, but that's another story...

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    2. "The student unions need to be declared illegal criminal organizations. Actually, so do the labour unions in this province, but that's another story..."

      Je dois avoir fait un voyage dans le temps.. on est en 1920, et la menace Marxiste pèse! Jetons tous ces communistes en prison. Peut-être qu'on peut ramener la loi Cadena de Duplessis pour empêcher les étudiants de s'assembler en syndicats.

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    4. "Je dois avoir fait un voyage dans le temps.. on est en 1920, et la menace Marxiste pèse! Jetons tous ces communistes en prison. Peut-être qu'on peut ramener la loi Cadena de Duplessis pour empêcher les étudiants de s'assembler en syndicats."

      I know that the unions do a good job spreading their propaganda, because just like your response, a lot of people seem to think that speaking out against their shady practices makes you anti-worker, pro-capitalist, etc etc etc ...

      Its quite amazing to see how regular working class people are so ready to defend these rich bigshots running the unions who live extremely lavish lifestyles while everyone else pays (I don't think Michel Arsenault is driving around in a kia or a hyundai)

      But not everything is black and white, and I fully support the right of people to form groups in order to defend their interests. This was the original goal of labour unions, am I correct?
      Ask yourself this, do the big labour unions really defend the interests of their workers, or does it spend more time on its investments and on its political lobbying? Personally, I think it's the latter. So if you ask me, the unions are also screwing the workers, and I think they deserve better.

      As for student "unions", most of these organizations are funded by or have some link to an extremist group, the editor pointed that out very well for M. Nadeau. And they aren't even led by students who are serious about their studies, instead they are led by people who want to use them as a forum to "change the world". How about you do that on your own time, there are people who just want to study, seeing as how they're paying for their time at school.

      And when does an organization become "criminal" in this province? Do they have to ride around on Harleys? How many illegal protests have these "student unions" been involved in since the beginning of the year? How many smoke bombs have been set off in the metro in the past month alone?

      So yes, someone should get serious and get rid of the groups that are causing problems.. Then maybe the people can be represented by decent democratic organizations which will work towards improving society, instead of destroying it.

      Or are you defending their actions as an acceptable way of protesting against what they believe to be unfair (which, let's remind ourselves, is an small increase in tuition fees to a a level which would still leave us well below the national average)?

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    5. Je ne défends rien du tout. Mais de là à vouloir déclarer les groupes étudiants/syndicats Québecois comme organisations illégales au même tritre que les Hells... loufoque.

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    6. Le terme français exact pour ce type de raccourci est : Amalgamer

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    7. QUOTE OF THE DAY: "A co-ordinated attack on a major transportation system, in any country's 2nd largest metropolis, would be called a terrorist attack. Here, it's Thursday." -- Terry DiMonte

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    8. @YannickThursday, May 10, 2012 12:47:00 PM EDT

      Ah yes, la loi du cadenas, the infamous Padlock Law that was another of Quebec's great contributions to the world. I had almost forgotten about it. Unfortunately, a boycott is not a strike.

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  21. Quoi de neuf à Mississauga?...Toujours aussi ennuyant?

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  22. (I don't think Michel Arsenault is driving around in a kia or a hyundai)

    Comme la plupart des crosseurs libéraux.

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    1. Effectivement, vous avez bien raison.
      Donc les gros syndicats sont aussi pire que les politiciens, on s'entend?

      Et en passant, on a pu voir il y a deux semaines qu'il semble aussi y avoir des "crosseurs péquistes".. On devrait peut-être dire "politiciens crosseurs" ?

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    2. Pas beaucoup de péquistes qui roulent en bagnole italienne.

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    3. "Pas beaucoup de péquistes qui roulent en bagnole italienne" ... Ta raison ils roulent en Harley Davidson.

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  23. Off-topic, but... the Prince of Wales read the weather forecast on BBC Scotland today; who knew he had a funny bone? He seems like a good sport... plus I thought he might send some of our Anonymous contributors into a tizzy.

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  24. It’s arduous to seek out knowledgeable people on this matter, but you sound like you already know what you’re talking about! Thanks

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