Friday, May 11, 2012

French versus English Volume 54

Air Canada versus the French language

Most people understand that English is the language of international aviation, in the air and on the ground. Airlines around the world accept English as the lingua franca and so it follows that technical manuals are generally delivered to airlines exclusively in English, even those from Airbus from France and Bombardier from Canada.
Airlines are loath to take on the responsibility of translating these documents over security and safety concerns and so generally ask employees to take maintenance courses in English.

Ever since Aveos closed its Montreal repair facility, Air Canada mechanics from Quebec have been asked to take technical courses conducted in English, in Toronto.
This of course has the union up in arms demanding that the course and manuals be provided in French. Link{Fr}

The company is now demanding that employees understand English as a condition of employment, something they didn't exactly do before and so the union is claiming that this demand is illegal.
While francophone Quebecers have the legal right to work in French, bilingualism may be a legitimate requirement of employment. This situation best illustrates the grey areas of the language debate.

Another great language kerfuffle.

Another March against against English

The Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste (SSJB) is organizing another march, this time in downtown Montreal to visit the various government offices, businesses and companies that are imperiling Quebec by offering service in English. 
According to the FaceBook page created for the event, of the 5,000 some invitees, only about 135 have accepted to attend, which means that in the end, it will be another sparsely attended separatist event, subject to overblown media coverage.
Targeted by the separatists is Revenue Quebec (for having the audacity to collect taxes in English,)  The MUHC, Montreal's largest English bilingual hospital, the Caisse de dépôt (for having two English bosses) and an assortment of other government agencies which have the nerve to offer services in English as well as French.

Talking about Facebook events, you'll recall that a Facebook group has been set up (La surprise de Shebbeare) to organize a 'surprise' march on Hugo Shebbeare's home, an act of despicable intimidation.
The group is tiny, consisting of about 40 people and had as a participant, a member of the Parti Quebecois, who has since withdrawn her name.
Mario Beaulieu, chief cook and bottle washer of the SSJB,  gave an interview feigning ignorance of the group, while maintaining the principle that nobody should be intimidated,
That being said, his name and picture remains on the Facebook page as one of the participants, giving force to the old saying that 'Action speaks louder than words."

Nordiques NHL Dream 'circling the drain.'

 Looks like the dream of an NHL team in Quebec City has taken a hard bodycheck with the announcement by the NHL, that there is a solution that will keep the troubled Phoenix Coyotes in Glendale.
The franchise was the likeliest candidate for re-location.

The second piece of bad news is the fact that the legislation allowing Quebec city to bypass normal tendering process in the construction of the new arena, has been put off until the fall session of Parliament, with the Liberal government unwilling to ram the Bill through at this stage.
This has pushed back the possibility that work can commence this Fall.

The third piece of bad news is the surprise resignation of the man responsible for the whole project, Jacques A. Bédard. The mayor of Quebec, Regis Lebeaume, who has been spearheading the project, refused to shed any details on the departure, fueling wild speculation as to the motives for his departure. Link{Fr}
Perhaps it is the spiralling estimates of the cost of the project which already is determined to be the most expensive arena (per seat) in the NHL. The $500 million estimate is almost 200 million more than a similarly built arena in Pittsburgh. As things go in Quebec, the likely final cost will push the project even higher, leading to another Olympic Stadium disaster.
Oh well.... 'plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.'

In the meantime, read this story about the town of Markham, a suburb of Toronto that is building a $300 million plus arena with no pro team.
God only knows why! Link

Demand for English school to skyrocket

The effect of the cegep and university boycott may have some perverse consequences on English language institutions of higher learning.
As the boycott drags on with no resolution, French students are seeking alternatives for the Fall semester.
You'll recall that 50% of French students remain out of class while less than 10% of English students are still boycotting.
But the most important difference is that the English schools remain open to the majority who wish to attend classes. Those on 'strike' have not been able to shut down the schools and so the semester will be completed on time, for those who wish to continue.

For francophone students who did not support the strike, yet are prevented from attending class in French cegeps and universities, the loss of a semester is a bitter pill to swallow and with nothing resolved, they fear the Fall semester might also be in jeopardy.

Some have decided to apply to French  schools outside Quebec, with the University of Moncton showing a 260% increase in out-of-province applications. The same is likely at the university of Ottawa.

This portends ominously for Quebec's English language universities and cegeps which will likely see a skyrocketing demand from francophones wishing to avoid any conflict and possibility of disruptions.

Over the last few years, Dawson college has seen a rising number of francophone applications and as competition to get in the limited places goes up, standards are going up and up.

English students are being displaced by francophone student with higher marks.
Given the relative difference in size between the English and French system, a serious uptick in demand by francophones may swamp the English system and alarm bells are starting to sound.

New Canadiens GM promises more French

The very first thing new General Manager of the Canadiens did was to demote anglophone coach Randy Cunneyworth.
When asked if French would play a bigger part in the team, Marc Bergevin agreed that it would, indicating that the next coach of the team would definitely be a Francophone someone who was bilingual.
He also indicated that he will hire more scouts to cover the province of Quebec in order to uncover and draft more French players.

The francophone media is head over heals in love and a bit sensitive over suggestions that the best talent may have been cast aside over language.

"In a press conference at Madison Square Garden in New York, before the second game of the series between the Capitals and Rangers, Glen Haley(sic), an analyst with CBC, asked a French journalist "Why do you deprive yourself of the best candidates over the question of language? "

....another insipid reaction was launched against the group of Quebec reporters  by a Philadelphia journalists, just before the third game of the Devils-Flyers series: "You must be happy in Montreal, to have your  French-speaking! GM " Link{Fr}

A bit touchy , don't you think?

Lack of English a problem for parliamentarian

"Some are calling for the resignation of the Conservative's parliamentary secretary for Official Languages because he speaks only French.
For the past year, Jacques Gourde has been turning down invitations from English Quebecer's main community groups.
The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) says the fact that Gourde speaks no English could be dealt with, but the fact that he seems to be avoiding them is a serious concern.
"If our access is limited by a parliamentary secretary who can not or refuses to meet with us because of his limitations in English, that is a problem," says director general Sylvia Martin-Laforge.

In 2006, the Conservatives named Ted Menzies, a unilingual anglophone, to the same position. However, within days the Tories said the appointment was a mistake, and re-assigned him.
"There is a double-standard," says Martin-LaForge, "but as anglophones in Quebec, we often deal with a double standard." Read the whole story

Racist Comedian welcomed in Quebec.

It's strange that there's not much of an outcry either in public or in the press about a French comedian Dieudonné M'Bala M'Bala, aka Dieudonné, coming to Montreal to perform an act which is decidedly antisemitic.
Dieudonné  has been roundly denounced in his home of France as a Jew hating racist, who makes no bones about utter disdain not only for Israelis but Jews everywhere.

 Dieudonné was also the director of an antisemitic film 'L’Antisémite,' financed by the  Iranian government. His antisemitism has become the focus of his professional career.

He was twice fined by the Courts in France for making antisemitic statements in public and was banned from performing in Belgium.

The last time he performed in Quebec, he made some statements that landed him hot water. In a performance in 2006, Dieudonné  called  Patrick Bruel, a French artist, a "liar" and an "Israeli militarist," saying he supported the bombing of southern Lebanon by the Israeli military.
"He was ordered by the Quebec Superior Court to pay $75 000 to singer Patrick Bruel for calling him a "super Zionist militant," and  an "Israeli militarist" who approved  the killing of Palestinian children  in south Lebanon by the Israeli army on the television show 'Les Francs-Tireurs'  in November 2006, on the Télé-Québec network. Dieudonné also asserted that the singer was suffering from the "superiority complex of some Israelis," that is to say he thinks he is part of a "superior race". 
....Dieudonné has become so obsessed with Jews that he founded an anti-Zionist Party  for the 2009 European elections, which was a big flop.
....These examples give a good idea of who this nauseating character is, yet he is still welcomed in Quebec. 
....The French are no longer fooled, why are Quebecers?" Link{Fr}
Read a story about the issue in the National Post

I haven't found one story in the Quebecois media condemning his show or questioning whether it is appropriate to allow an antisemitic show like this to be presented.
Do you think that if he was someone who spewed anti-Muslim hate, the Press would remain so indulgent? 
Methinks NO....

Polls offer disturbing views of attitudes

"A month ago, when The Gazette published poll results showing at least a significant minority of French-speaking Quebecers hold negative attitudes toward the anglophones in this province, some people were quick to express skepticism.
Among the findings of the poll, conducted in late-March by Léger Marketing for The Gazette and the Association for Canadian Studies:
  • 53 per cent disagreed that “in Quebec most anglophones feel positively about francophones.”
  • 51 per cent disagreed that “in Quebec, most francophones feel positively about anglophones.”
  • 44 per cent agreed that “English-speakers are the main threat to the French language in Montreal.”
  • 38 per cent disagreed that “relations between English and French Quebecers have gotten better over the past five years.”
  • 31 per cent disagreed that “Quebec anglophones have made a positive contribution to Quebec history.”
  • 61 per cent of Québécois – that is, French-speaking Quebecers – disagreed with the statement that “most anglophones in Quebec speak French satisfactorily.”" Montreal Gazette     Alternate Link

Another poll, this time by Forum Research, seems to confirm these findings;
"Substantial minority says Anglophones make negative contributions"
Three-in-ten Quebeckers think Anglophones have made a positive contribution to Quebec's culture (29%), but almost one fifth think their contribution has been negative (19%), and close to half think their contribution has been neither positive nor negative (46%). 

Believe it or Not

Here's one that's a bit hard to believe;
SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. is working with a company owned by controversial Quebec construction magnate Tony Accurso to bid on the Quebec government's $3-billion project to renovate Montreal's Turcot interchange.
Let's see, a disgraced engineering firm, plus a controversial construction magnate with alleged mafia ties, recently arrested for fraud, teaming up to bid for one of the biggest construction contracts of the decade.
Yup, that should work!!   Link{Fr}

"Actor, singer and host of Haitian origin, Luck Mervil, met students of the Pierre-Laporte high school as part of Intercultural Week presented at the end of March."
As readers might recall, Mr. Mervil was the performer that celebrated the FLQ legacy by reading its famous manifesto at an outdoor separatist poetry fest in Quebec City, the Moulin à parolesYouTube

What's wrong with this picture?
The school is named for Pierre Laporte, an FLQ murder victim!
Thanks for the story to Hugo....

"Former foreign affairs minister Lawrence Cannon, who lost his Quebec seat in the last election, has a new job as Canada's ambassador to France.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the appointment during question period on Thursday, saying Cannon has the necessary experience for the position.
Harper thanked the outgoing ambassador, Marc Lortie, a longtime diplomat who has been stationed in Paris since 2007." Read the rest of the story
Is this another Harper snub to Francophones?
Although the decidedly anglo Quebecer speaks French very well, wouldn't you think that the job should go to a bone fide francophone?
After all, there aren't that many French speaking countries.
Just asking.......

Despite the many leftist public figures who have emerged over the last two months, Amir Khadir admits having great difficulty in recruiting star candidates for Quebec solidaire.
Ya think?

In an effort to do something about the exaggerated number of employees working for the government, the Quebec civil, the most bloated public service in North America, has announced that it is adding another 2,200 employees over the next two years. Link{Fr}

 About two years ago, Premier Charest ran roughshod over the tendering process and awarded the contract to build Montreal's new metro cars to Bombardier in the town of La Pocatiere, which was, just by chance going to have a by-election in the near future.
Well, that strategy didn't work out, the PQ won the seat, but the contract was already sealed.
It seems that Bombardier is now having a spot of trouble with the union over sub-contracting and is threatening to leave.
"The union president, Mario Levesque, argued yesterday that outsourcing has skyrocketed in recent years. The roofs of the future Montreal subway cars, which were to be made ​​of stainless steel in L'Assomption, will eventually be manufactured by an aluminum company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Bombardier responded that it was not profitable to invest in the machinery needed to manufacture aluminum roofs for a single contract. "You can not invest millions of dollars in equipment like this for a project without knowing whether we will need it for any other," said Marc Laforge, spokesman for Bombardier Transportation, in a telephone interview

This explanation made Mr. Levesque hit the roof. "Don't tell me that Bombardier cannot afford the machines, he said. They invested US$26 million in their plant in Plattsburgh. ... This is because they just don't want to invest here.

Yup, that's what they said!

"Because of the excessive representation of unilingual and bilingual jobs in the public service of Quebec in regions like Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, it  indirectly contributes to the anglicization of the greater Montreal area",   Link

This according to the president of the Mouvement Québec français, Mario Beaulieu.

Readers are reminded that anglophones make up just 2% of Quebec's public service and the vast majority work in French.

Some Good Weekend reading;

Kraft Dinner et soutien-gorge
An article in French describing how good students have it compared to the 'good old days.'


You know how some television shows use product placement to raise revenue? Well, those that refuse the practice (like the Big Bang Theory) are careful to alter the appearance of name brands on products used as props on the show.
Here's an effort on Quebec television that didn't exactly come off as expected.  As we say in English- "Close, but no cigar!"

Credit FailQc .com
Come to think of it, it might be some smarty pants biling pulling an fast one on unsuspecting viewers....Dunno.

On Monday, I will tell you why the riot in Victoriaville was completely the fault of police.
Until then, please have yourself a very good weekend!


  1. My comment on the education.

    I wrote a comment some days ago about how Dawson College is overflown by students it now has to rent spaces at Pepsi Forum. There is an interesting development among my anglophones and English allophones friends and colleagues. Also remember that some time back there was a discourse about extending Bill 101 to CEGEP.

    The interesting part is that those English-speaking people around me are now inclined toward supporting Bill 101's extension. The reason is simple. Because now it is getting harder and herder to enter Dawson, Vanier and John Abbott (I exclude Marianopolis since it is private). So with a totally selfish reason, the anglophone community may, one day, support the separatists' proposal.

    As for applying to Moncton or Ottawa (the French side), the irony is obvious. Universities outside of Quebec charge significantly higher tuition fees, even higher than the proposed fees. By choosing to go out of Quebec, those graduates make a quiet but profound statement that the needs for higher education outweighs the tuition fees. That is why admissions to Ivy League universities are hyper-competitive even though they charge the highest tuition anywhere in the world.


    My comment to you. The Big Bang Theory is definitely choke-full of product placements. In the earlier seasons we could see Microsoft logo in almost all computers. Nowadays it is sponsored by Apple, particularly the iPhone. Just remember several episodes back when Raj was excited to have his phone with Siri and he dreamt of meeting Siri as a person. Well, Siri is available only on iPhone 4S. Others worth mentioned are Sheldon's obsession with Purell and all the games (the platforms, softwares, board games, characters) they like to play.

  2. Editor: I must state you are a marvel at digging up stories showing Quebec constantly shooting itself in the foot à la the inept Deputy Barney Fife from the old Andy Griffith Show and the insufferable Major Frank Burns from M*A*S*H.

    I think English CEGEPs should be obligated, as a matter of policy, to accept English speaking students first. Most French speakers can't effectively communicate in their mother tongue orally, let alone in writing, and much less so in English. Exception: Anglophones and Allophones forced to go to French public schools because most of them keep up their English; besides, since Quebec overtly encourages segregation of French from other languages, esp. English, then the French students should fight harder for their rights to have their education, and screw the morons who want to strike. McGill and Concordia, digusting to say, have strike supporters, so if they want to screw up their year, that's their stupid choice, but to avoid overcrowding and/or underfunding, those students who choose to strike have to yield preference to loyal, conscientious attendees of the classes. This strike was perpetrated by by those lower than the lowest form of marine life in the oceans' depths, and should be treated that way for all the damages and disruptions they have caused. Same goes for the French schools as well.

    Say, isn't a French CEGEP on the South Shore offering aviation maintenance courses IN ENGLISH? If it's good enough for French aircraft manufacturing companies to only offer English courses internationally, then it's good enough for Quebec, too. If not, Quebec can give up aircraft manufacturing altogether. Too, why shouldn't Bombardier subcontract work to Milwaukee or Plattsburgh if it's cheaper to do so? I think Bombardier should move every single one of its operations, including head office to Mississauga or somewhere like that, and get those union monkeys off their backs! Profit before politics, except in Quebec, of course.

    Isn't H.E.C. offering courses, or even a whole program, in English? Actually, French speaking students can apply to York. I believe they offer many of their courses in French! Bienvenue à Tôtrenteau!

    I must state that SNC Lavalin is quickly becoming the bad boy of international engineering companies. Maybe they should relocate their head office to Mississauga as well where the political air is clean, and for some yutz who seems to have doughnuts on the brain, they're also fresh, as is the coffee! Too much time in the polluted Quebec quagmire of corruption can only benefit by breathing amongst the fresh air, doughnuts and coffee that makes up Mississauga!

    The Editor has made it clear that comparing Quebec to Nazi Germany is not appropriate, but what can one say when that a--hole spewing anti-Semitic vitriol, who has been banned from Belgium and fined for inciting hate in France, is welcome to Montreal with open arms to bash Jews every which way. Anyone willing to pay their hard-earned money to listen to a raving bigot for entertainment has to be a Jew hater--and I'm sure there will be no shortage of ticket buyers in Montreal et environs. Bet Amir Khadir and his daddy will have reserved seats, front and centre to the stage! Like Galganov's book's title reads: Bastards!

    1. Mr. Sauga writes:

      since Quebec overtly encourages segregation of French from other languages, esp. English, then the French students should fight harder for their rights to have their education, and screw the morons who want to strike.

      There has been instances in the past in which certain minorities have been subject to quotas and discrimination regarding entry into institutions of higher learning that the restrictions only made them work harder and excel. Perhaps this isn't such a bad thing; indeed, it may be the best thing that can happen to them.

    2. Tony: I see your point, but being a minority in Quebec is hard enough. The current ridiculous problems are being caused by the Francophone students, and yes, there are sympathizers on the English side of the education ledger, but I cannot and will not accept the fact English students are suffering at the hands of the French students for stupidity caused by the few idiots who have wreaked havoc on society at large.

      There may be "borderline" students who now will not get postsecondary opportunities due to all this. Students who take their education and futures seriously will succeed, but for some, it's a difficult milestone to deal with for many, so why handicap them. My own son is doing a phenomenal job at planning for his future, partially due to good guidance from intelligent family members like myself, but also has a good grasp at what it takes to succeed. He has a mild case of Ashburger Syndrome, yet is in leadership roles, and he's managing beyond my expectations. For those struggling, I don't want to see their opportunites at best postponed, and at worst lost.

  3. The editor writes:

    While francophone Quebecers have the legal right to work in French, bilingualism may be a legitimate requirement of employment

    "may be a legitimate requirement"? I thought Air Canada was a private company. Since when isn't it the right of a private company to set its own requirements for its employees?

    However, I do seem to recall that when Air Canada was privatized that it may have been a condition of the sale to make it an officially bilingual company or some such thing which would exempt francophones from the usual forces of the marketplace regarding language?

    1. When Air Canada was privatized, it retained some of its obligations as a crown corporation. Namely, the need to provide bilingual services. You may remember the incident where a francophone sued Air Canada last year for failing to provide such a service.

    2. Tony,

      It is called Air Canada Public Participation Act. Basically, even though Air Canada is privatized, the act mandates that it still retains its bilingualism.

    3. Air Canada is mandated to offer a bilingual service to its CUSTOMERS, no where is it obligated to translate technical manuals for its employees. The World standard in aviation maintenance is English. If an aircraft technician cannot read and comprehend English, they cannot and should not be allowed to touch an aircraft or a component related to an aircraft.

    4. Même à un airbus 320 ? Pfff...

    5. Troy: Too bad the Quebec Government seems to be getting out of this "public participation" what with departments like CSST and RAMQ. It will be foolhardy when the government deals with immigrants who (unlikely) after a year will be fully integrated in French, and these departments may as well speak Klingon. Instead of a détente after almost 40 years of this merde, it seems this is round two (or round 10,000) of harrassing Anglos and immigrants. How much can I get a judge to pay ME damages if I'm not served in English?

    6. "the act mandates that it still retains its bilingualism."

      They shouldn't. Since Quebec keeps on withdrawing from the responsibility to be a part of Canada, bilingualism should not exist at all. Anyway, when a plain takes off from MontrEal, everything is in English, from the captain's announcements to the serving of the food.
      Not to mention how much money is to be forked out to guarantee some French to people who don't even deserve it because of their habit to bite the hand that feeds them. Bilingualism should be granted ONLY when a province succeeds in being a proactive part of the Confederation and, since you, Quebec, have been a burden to the Confederation since 1970 (if not, before), no French services for you.
      The sun will rise again, the birds will continue singing even if there is not French in Canada...


    7. Your meeting will be in EnglishSaturday, May 12, 2012 at 1:12:00 AM EDT

      "The sun will rise again, the birds will continue singing even if there is not French in Canada..."

      Removing French from Canada, would be like removing a cancerous tumor from a sick patient. You may as well force all provinces to offer services in both English and Klingon, there's probably the same number of people who speak fluent Klingon as French outside Crapbec. Seriously, no joke. Waste of money, waste of resources and completely and utterly hypocritical when Quebec itself is UNILINGUAL, refusing to offer English services.

      If Harper has enough sense, he'll discontinue official bilingualism in Canada. Or at least soften it so it has no teeth, maybe make it voluntary.

    8. Meeting: French is constitutionally embedded, and Trudeau would be damned if he didn't ensure this was going to be the case.

      I'm fine with official bilingualism, not Quebec's dogmatic attempt to be unilingual French in the face of Canada. Now, should Quebec choose to separate (unlikely, gosh darn it), then the Constitution WILL be amended by the remaining provinces, or the issue will be forced considering Trudeau made every effort to ensure attempts to constitutionally eliminate French would be impossible.

    9. @Your meeting will be in english

      Unfortunately official bilingualism only applies to federal services as well as k-12 education. Most provinces (except for New Brunswick and Manitoba)* have the right to ban as much french as they want. They also aren't under any obligation to provide french services. Your insunation that "provinces are forced to offer services in English and Klignon" is simply misinformed.

      As for Quebec "refusing to offer English services", allow me to laugh in your face. The level of english services in Quebec far outstrips that of any other province save the exception of New Brunswick. Which other province has minority language colleges/universities, hospitals? From the protests surrounding the attempt of Cornwall hospital to hire bilingual nurses, you'd think people were being scalded alive.

      *New Brunswick is different because the provincial OLA was enshrined in the constitution. For Manitoba, it was because the province was created bilingual during its adhesion in, what? 1870? Anyway, both points a bit sketchy, but that is the current interpretation of the law and the constitution.

  4. Wee need another Fiorenzo Bava-Beccaris ( against those traitors of tomorrow's rally. In this case, and this case ONLY, he would be the right man at the right time...


  5. "Is this another Harper snub to Francophones?
    Although the decidedly anglo Quebecer speaks French very well, wouldn't you think that the job should go to a bone fide francophone?"
    Editor, you're starting to sip the Koolaid. I'm a lot more alarmed at replacing a career diplomat with an unemployed political hack than quibling over whether he's pur laine-enough for the job.

    1. Harper's been very nice to his defeated Quebec MPs. Josée Verner got herself a senator's position for losing an election!

      I wonder how well that fits in with his Senate reform ideology.

    2. I suppose too it's some kind of conspiracy that Claude Benoit, the former spendthrift CEO of the Port of Montreal, was replaced by Gerry Weiner? For those too young to know who Gerry Weiner is, or was, he was elected in 1984 and 1988 as an MP and cabinet minister in the Mulroney governments. Before that he was the mayor of Dollard des Ormeaux.

    3. I suppose appointing Gerry Weiner to the position of CEO of the Port of Montreal, replacing spendthrift Francophone Claude Benoit, is some kind of comspiracy, too?

      FYI, Gerry Weiner was elected in 1984 and 1988 and was a cabinet minister during the Mulroney years. Before that, he was mayor of Dollard des Ormeaux. For Amir Khadir, his father, and those of their ilk, he's an «Anglo Juif». Oooooohhhh...the conspiracy of it all...ooooohhhh....

  6. Quebec has been downright nasty to Gary Bettman over the past decade, don't expect any favours from him regarding a Quebec City franchise. Kalamazoo has better odds of landing a team than Quebec City.

    1. How about Markham, ON?

    2. An afterthought: How about someone (maybe me) sending Bettman that National Post article, amongst others, showing how Quebec welcomes anti-Semitic racists with open arms, like that racist yutz who people, like Messrs. Khadir Sr. & Jr., will be buying the best seats in the house to listen to this vitriol from this Hitleresque bigot that has been banned in Belgium, and practically thrown out of France?

      I think this racist bastard should be tied up, thrown on a courier jet like freight and air dropped in the middle of Demascus or Tehran. THAT is his kind of crowd, and he can sell out night after night in those places!

  7. Re your comments on the student strike and Quebec university education in general, it has truly been a very sad spectacle of the tail wagging the dog. As Jeffrey Simpson pointed out in his Wednesday, May 9, column in the Globe and Mail - the question of the overall quality of university education in Quebec was ignored during the "drama" of the student strike. He is bang on. And this is happening in a province with a very low level of high school graduation among francophones - to the pont of alarm among those who appreciate the significance of such statistics in a modern economy - as well as a very high general rate of illiteracy.

    The student strike is/was a diversion that will do nothing to advance the real interests of Quebec students. And the tiresome and repetitive commentary on the strike by the leftist romantics who think they are seeing the birth of a new more radical/progressive mouvement for social change, social justice etc has been a pathetic festival of uninformed analysis, bad judgment and distorted history about the so-called "Quiet Revolution". How will francophone Quebec ever catch up with the rest of North America, a core objective of the Quiet Revolution", if students here who have contributed NOTHING to the economy are more focussed on how to get another handout than completing the school year that they have already paid for ? If these puppies are future leaders of Quebec society there is serious trouble ahead. But, Hey..."socialism is wonderful until you run out of other people's money."

  8. "socialism is wonderful until you run out of other people's money."

    Hmmm...Que dire du capitalisme

    1. Capitalism is the worst form of government, except for every other.

      German has 150 000 words French has 85 000

    2. Le capitalisme n'est pas une forme de gouvernement, vous vous trompez de dicton.

      Et qu'est-ce que ça a rapport, le nombre de mots en allemand/français? Serait-ce un commentaire dénigrant la langue française gratuitement?

    3. Why is it that the biggest champions and promoters of capitalism (Wall Street, Goldman Sachs, etc...) stick out their grabby hands for handouts and bailouts the minute they run into trouble? But for the rest of us, it's the free market, have to pay for your mistakes, can't rely on the government, be self-reliant, don't depend on anybody...

      It's socialism for the super rich, capitalism for the rest. Nice trick they played on us.

    4. Come, come adski: All men are created equal, but some are created more equal than others.

      Don't forget as well there are two categories of justice: One for the Conrad Blacks of the world who go to jail for four years or so for a crime committed in the country where he gave up his birthright citizenship and was given a pass to return; the other a black man who lived in Canada for 35 years and had a family and now can't return to Canada for a misdemeanor crime he served 30 days decades ago in the U.S.

      See, adski? And don't think in totalitarian government it too is not what you know, it's who you know.

  9. Fortunately, common sense has prevailed and those shows by that anti-Semitic French comic have been cancelled. I was ashamed that this show would have occurred right in my neighbourhood.

  10. Fortunately, common sense has prevailed and those shows by that anti-Semitic French comic have been cancelled. I was ashamed that they would have been held right in my own neighbourhood.

    1. Je suis un peu divisé sur la question, Cat.

      On a bien acceuilli Ann Coulter à Calgary à bras ouverts. Elle prône la xénophobie, l'homophobie, le patriarchisme et l'anti-libéralisme. Elle nous a souvent insulté, nous les Canadiens, nous traitant de "Soviet Canuckistan" ou de poltrons.

      Quand il y a eu des manifestations contre sa venue, les médias ont parlé de liberté d'expression, de droits fondamentaux, d'intolérance, etc... J'ai de la misère à voir ou est la différence dans ce cas-ci. On a le droit d'empêcher les gens qui disent des choses qui nous choquent de venir parler, ou non?

      Je n'ai pas encore pu me décider sur la question, j'aimerais savoir ce que tu en pense.

    2. As the CBC puts it in an article about Canadian cases promoting hate (e.g. Keegstra, Zundel, Ahenakew, cross-burnings, etc…), “The point where Canada’s freedom-of-speech provisions overlap with hate crime legislation is a legal, political, ethical and emotional minefield.” It’s a big issue that won’t be resolved in a blog comment and as usual, there are many factors at play.

      In any event, free speech is not absolute. It commonly has limitations imposed on it (for example, incitement to commit a crime is forbidden). As a result of the landmark 1990 R. v. Keegstra case, it is an offence under the Criminal Code of Canada to wilfully incite hate against any identifiable group (defined as any section of the public distinguished by colour, race, religion, ethnic origin or sexual orientation).

      In this instance, Dieudonné is not being forbidden from performing in Canada; he simply had his shows cancelled at one venue. He is free to try and find another venue for his shows if he so desires. If he does choose to do so and winds up being indicted, I’m fine with that. He has already been fined in France for his racist insults.

      Ann Coulter was not received with open arms in Ottawa and London the way she mostly was in Calgary (as we all know, Alberta is the Texas of Canada). In Ottawa, she wasn’t banned but had been forewarned of Canadian laws; she then cancelled her appearance because it had become unsafe. Students at the University of Ottawa and the University of Western Ontario also had the right to express their disagreement with her. As I recall, another issue was that she was speaking at a publicly-funded university, not at a private function. There is the issue that universities should be places to promote the airing of opposing points of view but this does not include criminal ones.

      Although testy exchanges can be enjoyable, I don’t necessarily agree with pre-emptive banning just in case they break the law. On the other hand, it would be foolish to ignore previous speeches by the individual and hope for the best. (I did enjoy the 17-year-old Muslim student at Western who asked Coulter whether she should be converted to Christianity and since she didn’t have a magic carpet, what other mode of travel did she suggest… answer: take a camel.)

      On the other hand, I was disappointed when pro-Palestinian protesters prevented Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanahyu from speaking at Concordia University ten years ago. He had not been accused of making any hate speeches like Coulter or Dieudonné. I think preventing someone from speaking simply on the basis that you disagree with their opinion is not acceptable either. There is a difference between insulting and being hateful.

      In the end, I think it’s perfectly fine and desirable to have limits on free speech. The annoying thing, I guess, is whether you agree or disagree with the object of those limits.

    3. Yo, Feline: While your argument about the anti-Semitic bigot having his chance to open his mouth and perhaps subsequently be indicted has merit, I like to think that Western Europe and North America have similar high values and standards, and are reasonable judges of character. Belgium is a reasonable country, a democracy with political stability, so if THEY can see what he is and know his hateful style, why not take a pre-emptive strike? That vitriolic racist is as predictable as the solar eclipse that will be taking place in these parts a week from Sunday! Leopards don't change their spots, bigots don't see themselves as bigots, and that eclipse is going to happen. You'll be paying taxes the rest of your life and you're going to die someday, too. Your heirs will have to pay your taxes AFTER you die! These are all certainties! So is the bigot's show!

    4. Like I said, I agree with the stance taken in Belgium and France and I'm quite pleased that he won't be performing.

    5. "Belgium is a reasonable country, a democracy with political stability..."

      Quoi ?!?

    6. Merci, Le Cat. Des points très intéressants.

    7. The Cat,

      Update on Dieudonne. As he gets his show cancelled, he is obviously a victim of the Jewish lobby.

    8. How dispiriting it is to read not only the Vigile article but especially the comments to it. That level of education bodes poorly for an independent Quebec. Luckily, none of the francophone Quebecers I know have ever heard of that site and would be equally dispirited to read it, if they ever did.

  11. Dear 2:00 pm anonymous, please try and grasp that capitalism is an economic system based on private ownership of the means of production. Democratic socialism in western developed countries is a set of political concepts which focus on how to distribute the wealth generated by capitalism.

    Thus the university students on strike and the go gauche commentators in the Quebec press are in favour of using the (tax) money earned and contributed by non students to pay for the university education of the students. Classic frozen 1960s thinking which dates from a period when western economies were expanding rapidly, national and provincial debt was not an issue and demographics allowed economists to predict continuing strong growth. Hence the Parent Report's recommendations that free university tuition was a reasonable goal. But check the calendar, 2:00 pm anonymous, and the Quebec balance sheet. It is no longer 1962. Our governments have to deal with today's reality. The romantic dreams of the Quiet Revolution are of historical interest but no competent government, or business, bases its strategic planning on ideas and economic assumptions that are 50 years out of date. And if I may be permitted to return to the aphorism that prompted your response - in Quebec we have essentially run out of other people's tax money to fund generous social programs such as $7.00 per day daycare (which costs $40.+ per day) and cheap university education for kids who are yet to demonstrate that they will contribute to the economy and the tax base.

    This is not complicated political theory, dear anonymous, just common sense.

    Bon Weekend

  12. Sandy Mac: Right you are! At the beginning of the Quiet Revolution, there were plenty of young consumers, most still in school or just entering the job market. There was no sccialized medicine until 1966, the same year the C/QPP program started. There was a plenitude of young people to enter the workforce, and only one collecting C/QPP for every nine working.

    Move forward to the New Millennium: The Baby Boomers are entering their golden years, so the need for those tax-supported medical services is rising exponentially, with younger boomers on the cusp of their golden years. Only 3 workers/contributors to the C/QPP now ve 9 when this started. There aren't enough young replacements for the aging workers, so this will put a strain on the tax base, and therefore government expenditures.

    When the post-Boom generation takes the helm of government, there are going to be intergenerational wars, and you can be sure Generation Screwed is going to be out for blood. Too bad the idiots of today don't realize they are only hurting themselves with their short term gains for long term pains, and ROC is getting tired of Quebec's rainbow wishes and skittle dreams. It's gonna be ug-lee!

  13. Another comment on education.

    Journal Metro have an interview with Louis Prefontaine about his book. First, look at the numbers he quoted. The budgetary portion of English universities keeps increasing (he said 30% while the numbers I read before was 25%) and the proportion of English speaker keeps decreasing (6% now from 8% not long ago).

    Okay, we know that the anglophone proportion is rubbish since he is using the so-called "historical anglophones" whatever that is.

    How does he, and other members of separatist groups, come to the 30% for English universities? This is not a rhetorical question, I really want to know. I made my comparison between McGill and UdeM some time back, and I found that UdeM receives far more from the province than McGill, be it in total and in per-student terms. Now there are 3 English universities and 10 French universities (UdeM, Poly and HEC are counted as one). Does Louis just take the number from there? Or does he compare the total budget of English vs French universities? If he does, it is really not a fair comparison. I do not know much about Bishop's and Concordia, but I know McGill has relatively big budget because of its endowment and research funding.

    Another thing that bugs me is his statement about out-of-Quebec students. Non-Quebec Canadian students pay tuition about the same amount as in other Canadian universities. Meaning that the special subsidy Quebec government gives that makes Quebec tuition that lower they do not get. International students are different story. They pay international tuition that is high enough, they do not enjoy any subsidy a tall. They fund their studies 100%. Does Louis aware of this fact?

  14. Vu à la une de la Presse:

    1. Asshole parade. I wonder if any of those fucks has ever created a single job that put bread on a family's table? Can we somehow accelerate immigration to Quebec to dilute these clowns into a corner?

    2. Malheureusement pour vous,nous avons le contrôle sur nos importés.

    3. and yet, you have no power in integrating them into your dying and shrinking society!

    4. From the article:

      "Les Future Shop et autres Banana Republic ont ainsi été dénoncés pour l'absence de francisation de leur nom, ce qui contrevient à la loi 101, dit M. Trudel."

      Trudel is lying. La Presse is not correcting it.


    5. "and yet, you have no power in integrating them into your dying and shrinking society!"

      Ils doivent accepter de vivre dans un milieu 100% francophone.Triste situation pour des francophobes :(

    6. So which one is it finally? Montreal is more and more English as you people repeat every day, or is it 100% francophone, a French city, as you people repeat every day? It can't be both, can it?

    7. Que voulez-vous?Nous avons aussi nos hors-la-loi.

    8. Buddy, it's either 100% francophones, or the francophones plus the "hors-la-loi". On this one, you can't have a cake and eat it too. And why is it that these "hors-la-loi" continue to provide such an appealing alternative to the mainstream? Is it why you dub them outlaws?

      Also, I wasn't aware of any amendments to 101 de-legalizing the use English. So what makes these people outlaws? Your personal interpretation of your holy law? Just like Trudel's interpretation makes store names Banana Republic and Future Shop illegal?

      As I said, 101 is not just a law, it's a holy writ to be interpreted at will. The only thing that counts in that law is the preamble that says that French is to be "the normal and everyday language of work, instruction, communication, commerce and business". From there on, it's everybody for himself in making Quebec according to that prescription.

    9. Adski, il essaye juste de te choquer. Ce n'est pas illégal de ne pas être français, à ce que je sache.

  15. Out of curiosity, if an English speaking institution in Quebec such as a CEGEP, university or hospital provides bilingual services (as most if not all seem to do), is this because it is a legal requirement or is it provided as a courtesy?

    1. Under Bill 101 a Public Service employee (ie Hospital worker, teacher etc...) has a right to work in French. Because of that right, English institutions were enshrined by law in Quebec as places were employees can work in a language other than French. Most are bilingual institutions because they have to accommodate Francophones too.

  16. Just to add, in regard to the percentile of English speakers in Quebec which seems to be constantly a subject of dispute, the following Statistics Canada table dating to 2006 may be of interest:

    Table 3.4 states that 17.1% of people in Quebec use English at home exclusively, mainly, equally or regularly, as well as another language (not necessarily French).

    1. Those are very interesting number - especially the fact that those who use english exclusively represent only 6.6% out of that 17.1%. Even more interesting - in Canada as a whole only 60% of the population uses english exclusively at home.

      Other interesting numbers - outside of Quebec, New-Brunswick and Ontario, the province which has the most people who speak french at home are British Columbia and Alberta with roughly 60 000 speakers apiece; I find this fairly surprising. They represent less than 2% of the local population, though.

      Canada's least francophone province is by far Newfoundland, where 0.6% total uses french at home, almost all of these only use it "on a regular basis" rather than exclusively, mainly, or equally.

      On a more sad note, only in the NWT and Nunavut does a significant portion of the population use an aboriginal language at home. I know there are today initiatives to teach aboriginal children their language and culture that was taken from them in the residential schools, hopefully these numbers will go up in future generations.

      Very interesting numbers. Thanks for sharing!

    2. Interesting numbers indeed. They broke it down into "Canada minus Quebec"; pity that we can’t see "Quebec minus Montreal" or "Montreal minus Quebec". Interesting also that 15% of all Canadians regularly speak more than one language at home.

      Incidentally, some of my ancestors sailed from France and settled in the Burin Peninsula in Newfoundland. Some moved on to neighbouring St. Pierre et Miquelon and to Montreal. I still have relatives in St. Pierre to this day.