Friday, October 12, 2012

French versus English Volume 64

PQ set to roll back English instruction and promote sovereignty in school

Marie Malavoy, the new Minister of Education wants to scale back the teaching of English in French primary schools.

First she wants to delay the implementation of the as yet not installed program of intensive English instruction in Grade six and also wants to stop the introduction of English in Grade one, because, according to her, she believes it to be to confusing to students who need to master French first.

In regards to English, which Malavoy now refers to as a 'foreign language,' she told reporters that it can be learned in 'other ways.'

My party was very critical of the idea of ​​introducing a foreign language as you begin to master concepts, grammar, syntax and vocabulary of one's mother tongue, says Malavoy.

I will respect what is there this year, but I've asked the Ministry to follow the situation for now, and  that we talk about what is to be done next year,  she said, proposing to push the teaching of that second language to the fourth or fifth grade.

Shades of the Taliban.

Another matter that needs to be reviewed, according to the PQ is the history taught in high school. In addition to increasing the number of hours devoted to it, Marie Malavoy believes the content to be changed.
“There are all kinds of schools of thought such as capitalism, feminism, and all of them are part of the curriculum. There is also a school of thought called nationalism. And I think we have to give a special place to the debate that has taken place here in Quebec over the last 50 years,” Ms. Malavoy said. Read more
Education Minister Marie Malavoy angrily rejected accusations Thursday that she is politicizing the province’s education system with her proposals to abolish obligatory English classes in Grades 1 and 2, hold off on intensive English classes in Grade 6 and make sure the independence question is highlighted in the province’s high-school history courses.
Malavoy made the suggestions in an interview published Thursday by Le Soleil in Quebec City, headlined “Less English in school and more room for the sovereignty question in history courses.” Read the rest of the story
Madame Malavoy is a great fan of sovereignty, so much so that she  actually voted in the referendum without being a citizen of this country! Come to think of it she voted in provincial and federal elections while being a non-Canadian.
After that was exposed, she was forced out of the PQ cabinet of Jacques Parizeau in 1994 and left politics for eight years.
But all is forgiven, welcome aboard!!!

Hilarious Facebook exchange highlights Quebec Chasm

 I must say that after reexamining the exchange on Collossus' Facebook page (since deleted) about the "If ur not happy, go to Guzzo:)" exchange, I couldn't help but shake my head at how low we have sunk.

First was Celyne Lessard complaining about the fact that the newer screening rooms were being used for English movies, rather than the dubbed French versions. The complaint was rather polite, if I do say so myself.

The dismissive reply, from what had to be a low level employee was insulting, but absolutely hilarious.

But then language blowhard Louis Prefontaine steps in to demand a boycott.
Question: How does he arrive on the scene so fast? He must have some special sort of radar.
Of course he demands a BOYCOTT as usual, his go-to plan for every language slight, perceived or real.. As I recall some of his targets in the past were Air Transat and the Quebec summer music festival.

Then two kibitzers pipe in, the first complaining that when French people tell English people to move to Ontario, they get their head ripped off.

But, nothing beats the last comment by Philippe Laurent Secord, who offered this priceless bon mots that I will not translate, because I don't want to spoil it for French/bilingual readers.

You'll have to wait for someone in the comments section to explain.

French flee Montreal?

"In their more candid moments, nationalists admit that if indeed there is a “decline” of French on Montreal Island, it’s not because immigrants go to English-language CEGEPs.
Rather, it’s because French-speakers have been moving from the island to the mainland suburbs.
The reason most commonly offered for this migration is that young families are seeking housing that is both suitable and more affordable than that available on the island.
But an article by a well-known linguistic demographer published on the editorial page of Le Devoir on Tuesday suggests an additional, possible reason: a phenomenon similar to the “white flight” from American cities after the Second World War.
Simply put, the article by Michel Paillé suggests that some francophones are moving off Montreal Island to get away from immigrants.
Let’s call it “franco flight.”
Paillé quotes from a recent article in Le Devoir:
“Francophones are abandoning Montreal as a losing battle, unable as they have been to put their stamp on it after a half-century of Quiet Revolution.” Read the rest of the story

I came across this story because a newscrawler picked up mention of this blog on a story published on where the author makes the suggestion that Richard Bain's alleged attempt on Pauline Marois Life is directly linked to comments on blogs like ours as well as other 'hateful' messages on mainstream media.

This author is the same person who once wrote to me complaining that my article ridiculing him was unfair because it is actually a fact that Jewish citizens in Montreal refuse to be served in restaurants by French Canadian waitresses.
He also complained that rich Jews in Montreal and Laval are persecuting francophones as well as controlling the world.
Rich Jews in Laval? Hmmm......Read my post.

He is one of the few contributors on who actually had stories redacted by the editor because of racist content. Redactions

It's always rich when a racist and a linguicist attempts to call other people racist, especially when his screeds are so full of laughable mistakes and urban myths, errors that could only be created in the delusional mind of a fantasist.

To see what we are dealing with, we need look no farther than the headline to his latest story.

Lemme see.....
"A complaint by an allophone against a Quebecois who stands up for French."

Notice that the headline did not say:
"A complaint by an allophone against a francophone who stands up for  French."

 nor did it say;
"A complaint by a Quebecois against another Quebecois who stands up for French."

You see, to Mr. Barberis-Gervais an allophone could never in his wildest imagination be considered a Quebecois"


MQF  stages another 'massive' demonstration'

The Mouvement quebec francais held another tedious demonstration, this time about not enough French.....blah....blah....blah!
The newspaper article reported that about fifty demonstrators participated but the picture accompanying the story tells a different story Link{FR}

Two flags, five placards and about a dozen demonstrators.

Another smashing success CONGRATULATIONS.
As thy say in French... Loosers!!!

Now to be fair.....

A protest by an English group protesting that now infamous sign in the Villa Maria metro was just about as successful, a pitiful turnout I am forced to admit.
"Following last week’s incident in which a STM (Société des Transports de Montréal) employee placed a sign which read “Au Québec, c’est en Français que ça se passe” against the window of his ticket booth, it didn’t take long for the sign to make its way through the city’s social media before it finally made the evening news.
“You can think what you want in whatever language that pleases you,” said Sonya Mullins, “…but this is just too damn much.”
 Within hours after the story found its way through the internet, activists within Québec’s Office Québecois de la Langue Anglaise, a minority language rights organization, posted their own message in which they announced that they would be holding a demonstration outside the STM’s Villa Marie Metro Station where the sign incident occurred.
Several dozen people, including Mullins, showed up for last week’s rush-hour protest, but they were well received as many passing commuters stopped to have a chat and describe their own experience with rude and surly STM ticket agents who took exception to their language or even their accent. "
"Several dozen" Hmm......doesn't look like it?
Sorry Hugo.


Francophonie meets amid turmoil

The conference celebrating French language and culture is playing out this week in the Democratic Republic of Congo, under  surreal circumstances where many participants are decidedly uncomfortable holding such a 'prestigious' meeting in your basic run-of-the-mill banana republic, a country under extreme criticism by opposition forces for the litany of abuses all banana republics are known for....human rights abuses, fixed elections, unfair imprisonment, etc.etc.

Pauline Marois, eager to make her big international debut, decided that discretion was the better part of valour and refused to meet, be seen with or photographed with the host, Joseph Kabila.
"The Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie's decision to hold its 14th summit in Kinshasa raised eyebrows given the government's poor democratic credentials and human rights record.

French President Francois Hollande scolded his Congolese counterpart Joseph Kabila and could meet his opposition rival on the sidelines of the summit, setting a tense political backdrop for the three-day meeting."
"Prime Minister Stephen Harper is planning to raise Canada's concerns about human rights abuse and violence against women plaguing the Democratic Republic of Congo when he arrives there this week for an international summit, said his spokesman Tuesday." Link
In another blow the African nation of Gabon is set to make English an official language;
"The French-speaking African country of Gabon is moving on from the language of its former colonizers and introducing English across the nation.
Gabon's President Ali Bongo Odimba spent last week in Rwanda, where a similar move has proved a success.
Rwanda is now part of both the Francophonie (French-speaking) community and the Commonwealth.
President Bongo Odimba has made his move just ahead of the 14th summit of the Francophonie, which will see 56 countries' representatives descend on the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon's next-door neighbour.
" Link

Etc. Etc.

Talk about paranoia, there are some in the media wondering if the small earthquake that hit in the Monteregie region on Wednesday was caused by, you guessed it, shale gas test wells.
The quake was felt in Montreal, but didn't do any damage and most people slept through it.
But it goes to underscore how frightened ordinary Quebecers are in terms of shale gas exploration.
David McCormack of Resources Canada explained that it was impossible, the quake happened 27 miles beneath the surface.

In a province where many people oppose intelligent electrical meters because of the  'dangerous waves' it is to be expected. Link{FR}

Here's a story that will stick in the craw of French language boosters.
It seems that Alex Kovalev unable to secure employment in the NHL will pursue his career in Switzerland where he told reporters that he will learn French in order to connect with the fans.
This after five years with the Montreal Canadiens in which time he never even learned to say 'Bonjour!" Link{Fr}

"The NDP Member of Parliament for the Gaspé and Magdalene Islands, Philip Toone, said the lives of French-speaking mariners are at risk if the Maritime Rescue Sub-Centre in Quebec City closes.
The centre takes distress calls and helps manage search-and-rescue operations for mariners in Quebec.
The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans plans to close the centre next spring, saving an estimated $1 million per year by sending distress calls from Quebec waters to centres in Halifax, N.S. and Trenton, Ont.
Some people are worried the French-language skills of dispatchers in those centres won't be adequate, putting lives at risk." Read the rest of the story


Watch the news report ...Bad Constable 728
Out of Control Police officer
Here's a late story that will be making quite a splash over the next little while. It seems that a female Montreal police officer with badge number 728, is one mean bad ass and was caught on video and in a recorded telephone conversation abusing citizens.
Stéphanie Trudeau  was already the subject of a complaint, backed up by video footage, of her gratuitously spraying people with pepper spray.

But what really got her in trouble was an altercation over a minor incident which exploded into a full-blown police beat down.
It seems that a musician in the Plateau district of Montreal went to the lobby of his apartment building to hold open the front door in order to assist his musician friends laden with equipment.
The unfortunate was holding a beer in his hand which set of Officer 728, who made a big deal about it to the point that four people were manhandled viciously and carted off to jail after a dozen police cars were called to the scene.
Much of it was filmed and Officer 728 was clearly shown to be choking one of the four rather dangerously.
To top it all off, Officer 728 confiscated the cellphones of the four while conducting them to the station, but unluckily for her, pocket-dialed someone who recorded her using abusive language towards the suspects and describing herunprofessional behaviour  to a supervisor.
It was all played on TV and as you can guess she was suspended immediately.
Great entertainment, if it isn't you being manhandled!

Yesterday afternoon, the Chief of Police threw her under the bus.
For the first time in my memory the head of the Montreal police apologized for the actions of one of his officers.

So long, sweetie...your police career is over!

Watch the YouTube video and a story in French about the violent incident YouTube

Read a great story and see the previous pepper spray story in English by Global Montreal 

You can listen to the pocket-dialed call, but you need really need good French to understand Link{fr}

Best TWITTER comment;



Weekend reading'

Opinion: Let Detroit's decline serve as a warning.  

by Kathryn Markwick

"MONTREAL — If our new premier, Pauline Marois, wants to do a road trip outside of Quebec, I suggest she visit my hometown, Detroit, Michigan.
She surely knows of Detroit, founded in 1701 by Antoine de la Mothe, sieur de Cadillac whose original home in Old Montreal now serves Big Macs.
Marois shouldn’t go to Europe; they’ve just started to fail there. Go see real failure; go see Detroit. It is one of the most jarring, jaw-dropping unimaginable sights in North America. In fact, she wouldn’t believe she’s still in North America. Once a great city, Detroit has experienced a complete economic and political meltdown. The media has begun to talk about Detroit’s renaissance, but their stories are overblown. At best, the recovery is only a sparrow rising from the ashes; it’s no phoenix.
Those who don’t know the whole story claim that Detroit’s woes are the consequence of having been a one-industry town. That’s far too pedantic. Destruction of this magnitude has been the confluence of many factors. Certainly, The Big Three automakers were major culprits, starting with Henry Ford. Although his assembly line transformed production, the fault was in his wage structure. He promised far too much into the future, so he wouldn’t have to pay more cash up front. This created the unsustainable, modern-day legacy costs that helped drive the industry into the tank.
Big Three design also became lazy, spitting out cars that few wanted, and opening the doors to foreign entry.
Then, we had the race riots of 1967, a shameful and dark mark on our city’s history, after which whites moved from the city to the suburbs, generally north of Eminem’s “8 Mile” divide. After that came Coleman Young, revered mayor of Detroit, who practised what I term Evangelical Politics. Evangelical Politics, to me, was about promising the world and delivering nothing, while preying on the passion and fervour of the constituency. Years later, many black brethren who were able to move said, “To hell with this. We have the poorest schools, bare-bones police and fire services, and dangerous streets. We’re getting out of here, too.”
Do you think that 50 years ago, Detroiters could have imagined the degree of devastation that lay ahead?
As I look at Montreal and Quebec today, do you think I say, ‘It can’t happen here?’ Read the rest of the story

Conrad Black: As Quebec decays, Toronto seizes greatness

The announcement this week of an effort spearheaded by art collector and impresario David Mirvish, international architect Frank Gehry and innovative developer Peter Kofman to provide Toronto with a novel vertical, arts-based downtown residential complex is potentially a big step in Toronto’s quest to vault itself into the front ranks of the world’s cities — where it has sometimes prematurely claimed to belong. Whether Canadians from other centres like it or not, Toronto is now and will remain the comparative metropolis of the country, having surged past Montreal after that city entered into a sustained suicide attempt based on separatist agitation and accompanying racial and cultural discrimination.
Behind the pretenses to egalitarianism that dress up confiscatory Quebec tax laws and repressive language laws, the real driving ambition has been to push the non-French out of Quebec, buy up the real assets they cannot physically take with them, especially their mansions and office buildings in Montreal, and eliminate up to half the emphatically federalist votes in the province. Montreal’s loss has proven to be Toronto’s gain.
Historically, almost all Quebec’s non-French (comprising about 20% of the provincial population) are anti-separatist; and about an equal number of Quebec federalists are authentic French-Canadians who have thrown in their lot with the pan-Canadian option, and are routinely reviled by their peppier Quebec nationalist compatriots as vendus, sell-outs. (In my recent debut as a co-host with Amanda Lang on her CBC news program, the only line of mine that was excised was to this effect — so squeamish does the CBC remain about calling Quebec nationalism what it is: outright racism, at least in the worst cases. Radio Canada, the French CBC, is a notorious infestation of separatists.)
The principal bulwark of federalism in Quebec, and therefore in Canada, has been the English-Canadians, who have habitually voted Liberal, and have been shamefully neglected by the Liberal Parties of Canada and Quebec (the first now eviscerated and reduced to the unimaginably dubious expedient of elevating a leader whose sole qualification for high public office was surviving childbirth, and the second defeated and discredited, and now about half English, despite all its ingratitude). But 50 years of nationalist pressure in Quebec, uncompetitively high tax-rates on upper income groups and the endless redefinition of the use of English as a “privilege” that can be whittled down and compromised, have driven over 500,000 people out of Quebec, most of them to the Toronto area.
These former Quebecers, and the comparative welcome that Toronto has given external immigration (unlike the Québécois, who are generally hostile to any non-French immigration and none too accommodating even to ostensibly francophone immigrants who don’t speak like Québécois and aren’t too preoccupied with Quebec nationalism), has made Toronto an unusually, almost uniquely multi-cultural city. In fact, Toronto is one of the few jurisdictions where multi-culturalism has not been a disaster. Read the rest of the story

Question of the weekend

As we head into the weekend I would propose the following discussion point;

As we read in two stories above, neither the English side or the French side seems to be able to muster much of a turnout for demonstrations in defence of language issues..


Is the whole issue just overblown?
Do we really not care?
Are we just too complacent or lazy?

Think about your answer and let us know your opinion in the comments section....

Have a good weekend!


  1. How did Madame Malavoy get on the list of the registrar to vote if she wasn't a citizen?

    1. You beat me to it Jason.

      I really wanted to be the one to say it because so many others won't...

      Marie Malavoy isn't even from Quebec.

      Neither is Maka Kotto...or Jean-Paul Gilson...or Miriam Barbot.

      So who are these self-righteous blowhards to tell native Quebeckers of
      any stripe what language to speak in?

      It's bad enough when those who were born here do it...but to have someone
      else come over here and tell me how it is?

      Uh, nope.

    2. Let's say that a pure laine independentist, wrote something like :

      "Troy isn't even from Quebec."

      "Neither is adski...or Quebec Partition...or nataliawalsh."

      "So who are these self-righteous blowhards to tell native Quebeckers of
      any stripe what language to speak in?"

      "It's bad enough when those who were born here do it...but to have someone
      else come over here and tell me how it is?"

      What kind of reactions would he get? Just asking...


      The difference Michel is that Troy , Adski, Quebec Partition and NataliaWalsh are not telling people what language they have to speak. but Marie Malvoy Kara Kotto, Jean Paul Gilson
      and Miriam Barbot are telling people what language they have to speak.

    4. Since Ed covered one of my points already...

      Here's another way of looking at it, Michel. What if these same immigrants came to Quebec and proposed other policies?

      What if Marie Malavoy was a Muslim who refused to be treated by a white Quebecois doctor?

      What if Gilson told the YMCA to frost their windows so that gym members couldn't be seen?

      What if Barbot insisted that no men be present during water natality classes?


      Maybe you can ask Mario Dumont to write in and answer for you.

    5. I just don't get it with the separatists and their idea that foreigners can come here to quebec and run for public office as if they have lived here their whole lives like most of the anglophones and allophones that have resided here since the beginning of time but the residents, if they are not separatists, are not welcome to run for office in their eyes. This point, of not being pure laine, would be publicized no end during a political campaign. It's as if we have nothing else in common in the way of culture and aspirations in our lives which is far from true. Francophones, as well as Anglophones and Allophones, have a lot more in common than just language - we want the same things for our children, a nice life style, food enough to eat and many holidays in common. Language is just a small part of our life not the WHOLE of our life. Good grief guys, get a life and start learning to get along - all this is caused because there is not a willingness on the part of separatists to realize that there IS SO MUCH MORE TO OUR LIVES THAN JUST LANGUAGE! The only way out, if they don't learn to bend, is to partition the damn province and let them live in isolation which is what they want.

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

    7. Rezzie,

      I am not saying that you are racist, xenophobic or a bigot. I am asking : do you think that, if a franco (let's say S.R.) would have written the exact same comment that you wrote, he would not have been immediately labelled as a racist?

      I am not raising the issue of a hypothetical racist attitude of yours, I am raising the issue of a double standard.

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

    9. Guys, this still doesn't answer my initial question. How do you sneak onto the registrars list, 2 or 3 times in a row??? Potentially both Provincially and federally?

      This seems to be serious breach or or democracy and a threat to our society (given the correct scale of coarse).

      that being said I believe, and this is just my personal opinion, that the PQ is a band of societal rejects. The whole lot! Same as people Like Mario Beaulieu and company....

      For the most part they cater solely to the uneducated and those easily manipulated.

      Now that being said, how do you get on the voters list if you're not even a citizen?

      and then...

      How are you allowed to run for public office and represent "the People" if you've already been caught of frauding them, multiple times, at our most basic element of our democracy (ie. voting)?

      I swear, if I didn't live here, if I never even heard of Quebec before and I came across this BLOG I would think we were talking about some 3rd world country in Africa or Haiti, or something like that... what a joke!

    10. "I swear, if I didn't live here, if I never even heard of Quebec before and I came across this BLOG I would think we were talking about some 3rd world country in Africa or Haiti, or something like that... "

      You are not saying that what you read here do not fit with the reality that you observe, are you? That would be funny.

    11. What do you mean Michel? This is our reality!

      Day to day, I admit, everything is cool. But when I think of the money wasted and mismanaged by these misfits, and all these "Cultural" programs to enhance and protect french... come on it's an F'n joke.

      DO you think if there wasn't such a focus on all this language crap, that there wouldn't be a little more focus on what mattered? Possibly curbing all this corruption, at least slightly.
      There's corruption everywhere, so I'm not equating it to the french/English issue. However, one has to admit the quality of the elected officials, mostly based on their views on separation, is a drag on societal progress in general...

      This is the Quebec reality, and YES, it's a JOKE!!!

    12. @Michel

      The point is very simple. People like Troy for instance do not impose their will on others. They only seek their right to exist as they are in peace.

      Most of the Anglos/Allos on this blog have a perfect comprehension of French, however, they
      have varying degrees of mastery over the language.

      Whatever they level of mastery of la langue de Moliere, they practice a "live and let live" approach to Quebec's residents.

      Further, from what I've seen of commenters such as Troy and Apple, they come off as hard-working immigrants who've made a positive contribution to their host societies.

      What's to stop me from going to Germany and trying to take control of their cultural make-up? Perhaps I should head to Barbot's homeland and tell them their Creole is an inferior brand of French and they should do as we in Quebec do and speak "real" French.

      Here's the best one - Gilson's from Belgium...a country with a very prolific cultural divide that has prompted much talk of separation in that country. What the fuck is he doing here when he can help tear apart his own country?

      Let me put it to you one more way Michel. How would you like me to come into your home and tell you what colour to paint your walls? Or tell you to tear out your carpets and lay tiles instead.

      Bottom line: immigrants who come to this country with the intention of tearing it apart do not deserve to be here.

    13. I kind of think Malavoy looks like a man.

    14. Resident Evil : It always fascinates me how, when they are good immigrants who are against 101 and speak English, immigrants are 100% valid members of Québec and Canada society, and to imply that there's any difference between them and someone who's roots in Quebec extend many centuries is nothing short of racism bordering on fascism.

      When they speak French, favour 101 and are pro-Separation, they are vile foreigners who should go back to their country.

      Is a bit of a double standard, n'est-ce pas?

    15. Double standard? Why because the question of respecting your host country is on the line?

      Check this out. I'm a Euro National. I can live in the U.K., Spain or Belgium any time I please. That's one of the perks. That also means I have the right to vote in any future referendums in those countries.

      When traveling through Scotland, I took a pass on taking sides. Why? because what's going on between the Scots and the English is THEIR business. Same with Belgium and Spain.

      But let me put it to you this way...which I guess is what I should have from the beginning.

      Let's say you had a "Parti Anglophone" here in Quebec.

      Now what if an immigrant who spent most of his life immigrated from England to tell Quebeckers that according to his vision, they should speak English first, even though we all agree that Quebec is a French province?

      I wouldn't take that.

      I'd tell that Brit to fuck himself and go back to where he came.

      However, if that same Brit came to Quebec...forced himself to learn French as best he could...and was treated like a second class citizen because he doesn't speak "Tout le Monde en Parle" French...well, we're right back where we began.

    16. Another thing Yannick, how would you feel if you were talking French in your native New Brunswick and some dude from Ireland told you to "speak white" in the province of your birth.

      Would you accept it?

      If so...please don't bother responding.

    17. I would not, but I certainly would not say rank him below an Anglo New-Brunswicker in terms of having a right to say that to me.

      I would tell him to buzz off just the same as if he was a "local", no more, no less.

    18. Well Yannick, thank heavens that you do what it is you do in life and abstain from politics.

      I know what I'm saying appears controversial and hypocritical on the surface...but put the actual action into practice and I believe you'd see things very differently.

      Once again, Quebec's separatist may well resent Canadian Anglos, but if an immigrant from London were elected as a federal MP and then tell them in a Hugh Grant voice "You really should just speak English - it is the winning choice" they would completely lose it and you know that.

    19. Granted, I think they would. But I don't think that it makes it a good thing.

      I think that between a "local" N-Ber and a recent arrival, there's a big difference.

      The local N-Ber will be evoking centuries of tensions, conflicts, racism, etc... if he tells me to speak English (or if that Québecois tells you to parlez blanc). He may very well be channeling generational racism that's been passed on to him by his parents.

      The recent arrival will be picking up the superficial aspects of that, and potentially add on his own bias that comes from an entirely different environment and is therefore not really relevant.

      Don't think I'm talking from purely theoretical point of view : I've met a few recent immigrants, complain about the French from the depths of Ontario or Alberta where they've never even had to meet a Frenchmen, simply by echoing what people around them were saying.

      Based on this logic, I think it would hurt me more if I was told something of the sort by a long-standing Canadian than by someone who moved here two years ago; I'd be much more amenable to dismiss the latter as someone who just didn't know anything about the context.

      That said, I wouldn't tell him : You're not allowed to say that to me because you're not a real Canadian. I'd tell him off in the same way, using the same words.

    20. Seriously, back to Jason's original comment - HOW did something like this happen? Don't you have to be a citizen to vote?... otherwise, we could just invite like 50,000 'voting tourists' to Montreal? It's mind-boggling to me...

    21. Jason, to at long last answer your question, I worked a few elections here in Ontario, about 4-5 at the provincial level and a couple at the federal level. Before tax returns were used to supply the elections offices with information (with the taxpayer's authorization), there used to be a process called enumeration.

      Enumerators were hired by the Chief Elecotral Officer through District Electoral Officers for each constituency. The enumerators would go house-to-house, especially in urban areas to collect the names of the residents. A number of questions were asked, most importantly if the residents were Canadian citizens and their ages. It was not the responsibility of the enumerators to have the potential voters prove their citizenship and age, and so the controls were not that tight. It was really potentially very easy for non-citizens to vote if they chose to lie, and so the dishonest didn't have much trouble being enumerated.

  2. Regarding the earthquake...

    The first thing that came to my mind was, THE CHAMPLAIN BRIDGE!!!! LOL

    Remember the engineering report, on the health of the Champlain Bridge, that former Liberal Transport minister (Sam Ahmad) was so reluctant to release to the media 1 or 2 years ago?

    I remember a reference to the weakened state of the neglected bridge and the possibility of a magnitude 5 earthquake causing major damage to it (?Possible partial collapse?)

    I'm surprised no one in the media has circled back to follow-up on the effects of this earth quake on all the bridges status'...

    I guess that's cuz it was only a 4.5 !?!

    1. I can't help wondering which will collapse first - the Champlain bridge or the Mercier bridge. Wagers anyone?

  3. It's sad that probably nothing would have happened to that policewoman had not been filmed doing what she did.

  4. Sorry Editor, but I'm on Fire tonight, one more comment...

    I can't help but get extremely frustrated when I hear about all these ridiculous proposals by the newly elected PQ government. Higher taxes, more restrictive language laws and now, the delay of English as a 2nd language to elementary school children, along with additional separatist rhetoric to the High school history curriculum...

    At the end of the day I can't help but put some of the blame on the English media... HEAR ME OUT...

    The fact is that PQ is in power, with a minority government, with only 4 seats more then the liberals. 2 of these seats were hotly contested and won marginally over the liberals. If these 2 seats alone had gone liberal, we would have had a tie right? Just with these 2 ridings.

    The reason I blame the English media is because, as you may remember, as few day prior to the election all the big outlets were recommending people to through their vote behind the CAQ (a more likely challenger) in order to prevent the PQ from gaining a majority government.

    If not for that endorsement, surely, some voters who ended up voting for the CAQ (just because) gave the PQ that push they needed, and tripped up the liberals at the very last step...

    Anyone else see that?

    All that being said; I understanding that much of the PQ's plans may not actually happen. However, it's still such a waste of time, effort and energy for everyone to have to put up with this...

    1. I completely agree with you, Jason.

      While I revile much of the francophone media for being much at fault for stoking if not outright inflaming passions needlessly, I also observe that much of the anglophone media in this country, and especially in this city, is composed of a sad lot of out-of-touch imbeciles whose meek overall journalistic actions and behavior eloquently explain how extremist Quebec nationalism has been allowed to go unchallenged for so long.

      In addition to that, a lot of English-Canadian media on the national level has for decades failed to report on much of the minutiae of what goes on here. This buffering or filtering has had a net devastating effect on Canada, and such outlets have failed in their duty to properly and thoroughly inform Canadians.

      Should anybody at this point still be asking themselves "What does Quebec want"?

    2. I don't even think Quebec knows...

      Just a bunch of power hungry politicians misleading the masses... bunch of lambs...

  5. The reason that English-French cannot muster great crowds for their protest is due, I think, to the lack or real animosity towards one another, and the "minor" nature of the offences. However, I think this will change if the PQ insist on reinforcing bill 101 to include Cegeps,10-50 employees, etc.. I believe this will provoke an outburst that will open old feelings of frustration from the anglo population.I hope the PQ will not do this. They underestimate the amount of Anglos that are willing to protest and claim their rights as co-founders of the province.

    1. I think if a planned anti 101 protest was to have more people it would need CJAD, the gazette or Montreal CTV to publicize it.

    2. I think Jarry Street is partially correct as it would help if the English TV, radio and journal media supported Hugo Shebbeare and announced upcoming protests, but I don't think to some stupendous degree. I wouldn't state it's due to a lack of animosity, but partially a lack of promulgation by the mainstream media, but the reasons I have stated previously and the results of the last 35-40 years--complacency. Simple complacency and add to that an English mainstream media that has acted more like a detractor than an ally. I've discussed the Howard Galganov situation many, many times, so I'm not going to get into it here again.

  6. Well, OK, I’ll plump for it… “Et cet imbécile de faire un faute avec son “ur”. Eh là là. Je ne sais plus ce qui est le plus triste. means "And that imbecile making a mistake with his "ur". Oh la la. I don’t know who/which is sadder.

    1. Isn't it lovely how an unauthorized Facebook joke from a low-level teenage employee gets francos into such a tizzy, while a STM employee who pastes a personal message basically saying he will only serve people that speak French (something that is forbidden by the STM), posted by a public employee on public property, for users of a public service in a borough that is 69% non-francophone, leaves them completely unruffled…

    2. R.S.: In Quebec, c'est normal!. On the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), there are playing card-sized stickers in each subway car, bus and streetcar disclosing that conduct between TCC employees, passengers and each other are to be treated with respect regardless of place of origin, colour, creed, languages spoken, etc. How I'd love to get a deck of these stickers to post in Metro stations and on STM vehicles, but of course this would cause a riot because the TTC decals are in English alone.

      Too, one has to wonder if they'd mean anything for real in Montreal, even if they were posted in French alone. In Toronto, they actually mean something, but then again, as per Conrad Black's article, Toronto is gaining all in relevance that Montreal is losing; furthermore, Toronto has come to accept and embrace a pluralistic society. Gone is the WASP nest and Orangemen of decades ago. Toronto has festivals like Carabana (a weekend of Caribbean food, folklore and culture. Many other ethnic groups hold open festivals as well. In Mississauga, there is an open festival called Carassauga where all over the city different ethnic groups open their churches, community centers and other locales with food, dances, shows, literature and often souvenirs of the different places all over the world. It's held the last weekend in May and next year will be the 27th edition. Brampton, another Toronto suburb immediately north of Mississauga, also has a similar festival. Actually, it started in Toronto in the late 1970s, but unfortunately the couple that organized it year after year stopped and nobody took it over. Fortunately, it lives on in Mississauga and gets bigger every year.

      Ontario 1 Quebec 0.

  7. Montreal will never be a Detroit.I am even a bit offended at the comparison. Montreal with the right leadership can become one of the greatest city in North America.This can only happen if the population can be free to grow without the overburden of taxes and linguistic politics.

    1. Spencer the Spineless PorcupineFriday, October 12, 2012 at 3:02:00 AM EDT

      That's kind of the point, Montreal has the potential yes, but it's getting to the tipping point where it could fall on either side of the fence.

    2. Anon: You don't want to believe Montreal can become another Detroit. You wrote the words "with the right leadership" as a qualification. So who is this "leader" you speak of, this savior of a city that is on the cusp of turning to rubble after decades of neglecting the infrastructure? Organized criminals have been running the construction industry for so long that it will take as long to clean up the industry as it has take to corrupt it...that's for decades to come if a cleanup takes place at all.

    3. Parts of Montreal in the 1980s and early 1990s was looking like Detroit. I remember how much abandoned buildings there were especially near Pointe St Charles/St Henri.

    4. Exactly.

      By that logic (which I endorse), Montreal with the wrong leadership, both locally and up the chain, can, well, ...

  8. Have you ever noticed that these MQF protesters look a lot like the type of person whose father and mother are also their uncle and aunt?

    1. Oh to be a fly on the wall at 82 Sherbrooke West...

      Even Vigile's friends send money there now that Frappier's given up the ghost.

  9. As they say in French... Loosers!!!

    LOLOL… this old goodie still makes me chuckle, especially when it’s uttered by a franco named “Steeve”!

  10. I have to wonder whether the officials of the Francophonie feel a chill down their spines when they hear that the next meeting will be held in a city of France's colonial empire in Africa. I've heard horror stories of people being kidnapped, tortured and driven around to ATM's to empty out their accounts. If I worked for the Francophonie and was told the next conference was in Ouagadougou, I'd be very apprehensive indeed.

  11. Doesn't it just make us feel all warm and fuzzy - living in this continuous on-going hate mongering against English and Allophones - even though we are a part of quebec history? We can see where this is all headed should the separatists ever get a majority in the next election - and it doesn't matter who we vote for - they're all separatist except the liberals. WE HAVE TO GET A PARTITION MOVEMENT GOING AND GET OUT OF THIS MESS - they will keep pushing an agenda that is bound to head us into physical confrontations and they DON'T GIVE A DAMN OR THEY WOULD STOP PUSHING - doesn't everyone see that? COME ON PARTITION PARTY - LET THEM GO SO WE CAN LIVE IN PEACE!

    1. What are YOU doing to get a partition party going? You're just another one who talks up a good fight, but you need to walk the talk. Enough have talked the talk (i.e., big talk, no action). It takes people to organize these things! You're a people, aren't you?

      Howard Galganov tried to rally the English speaking community without aiming for partition or dissing French. All he wanted to do was give the English language equal rights with French where English was not an illegal language in any way. He did not look to suppress French in any way, even OK'ing French-only signs, but as freedom of choice as opposed to legal obligation. Remember the resistance he faced from the English media let alone the French?

      Now before someone comes into the conversation stating Galganov was against French-only signs, his protests at Fairview and the like were were to ensure English was put on signs in predominantly English speaking areas after Bill 86 was passed in the mid-1990s. This was the remedy to Bill 178 in 1988 as whenever the Notwithstanding Clause in the Constitution is exercised, it has to be reviewed after five years. This was when the "twice as much" law came out on signs in Quebec. The right to English on signs was partially restored, but large corporations didn't react, and THAT was what Galganov was protesting along with the crowds he organized.

    2. I repeat = I'm no politician - If and when there is a partition party organized, which I hope is in the near future, I will support and help as much as I can. I would have no idea how to start a political party except talk to people and friends who live around me (which I do) and hope, somehow, that we can get something going. What do you suggest we do? Sit and suck our thumbs as usual and just keep on getting bulldozed by these zealots without speaking up. I'm doing all I can think of and hoping for a solution to this mess. Yes, we keep talking about Mr. Galganov but he is no longer here and we yes we should have supported him 40 years ago - hind sight is always 20/20 but what are we going to do from here? How would you go about starting a political party?

    3. You don't have to be a politician to start a party. Start off with a mission statement and what your objectives are, i.e., what you want the party to achieve.

  12. I cannot believe. I have actually found on Le Devoir ('petit cahier de québécois frustrés) a decent and sensible comment (the latter, of course)!

    Raymond Saint-Arnaud - Abonné
    9 octobre 2012 09 h 33
    Qu’on se le dise : "Au Québec, c’est en français que ça se passe".

    henri -s garneau - Inscrit
    9 octobre 2012 13 h 41

    votre dernière phrse c'est avec ça qu'une employée du métro a pris la québec c'est la langue qui va me donner à manger à moi et mes enfants first!! arrêtez donc avec la langue, c'est un moyen de communication qui va permettre d'avoir un salaire et de manger.. français, anglais, mandarin yiddish on s'en fout! on veut juste du beurre sur le pain, quand on sera bien rassasié on parlera de la langue.

  13. And the paper published it! Wow - perhaps there is hope for some of them but I won't hold my breath

  14. Well...speaking of hope for a Le Devoir-reader is too much. I would say some of them - but just few of them - are still living on the earth. The rest is basically waiting to day off and become fertilizer for the ground.

  15. La fin du financement des écoles privées

    1. I hope the PQ does cut funding to private schools. It will give the private schools more rights if the become unsubsidized. They can even allow students to go to the English public school sector after 3 years. It will be more negative for private Catholic French schools then for the private English or Ethnic schools.

  16. Aristo-
    26 Fans
    02:16 sur 05/10/2012
    "Cela prouve qu'une province linguistiquement différente du reste de son pays ne donne pas le goût d'apprendre cette langue. La Suisse est un pays donc le français a son égal démographique parmi les 2 autre langues et qui donne plus a réfléchir a l'apprentissage d'une des 3 langues."

    The fact that someone who lives in Switzerland (Kovalev) or France might develop a "taste" for the FR language, but someone who lives in Montreal might not take FR as seriously, or become only superficially fluent, or become fluent but indifferent (able but not willing), able but not really practicing unless put in a position where there is no choice.

    In the second sentence, he gives his opinion as to why that is - it's about having a country. If you have a country, you'll be taken seriously. If you don't have a country, then you won't.

    I think the major preoccupation of this commenter should be to think about why he still does not have a country (and realize that maybe he doesn't really want one, and those who make him want one don't really want one). If he does some thinking, he might come to an uneasy conclusion that his desire to have a country might be the result of an artificially created need for self-assertion due to the artificially created feeling of self-loathing (nobody respects me, my language is stepped on, nobody recognizes me as a host, this guy learned FR in Switzerland but not in QC, etc...).

    Are there people in Montreal who do not take French seriously? Yes. Are there many of them? Maybe. Maybe not. Would having a country help me with my lack of self-respect which comes from the "obvious" lack of respect for my language? Maybe, if it is a respected country, not just any country (a banana republic of QC would damage the reputation of the French language, a prosperous country of QC would help the FR language, a mediocre country, the most likely possibility, would not change a thing for the FR language). But the real question is: why am I offended by those who don't take FR seriously in QC? Why don't I just not care, like my common sense tells me? Why am I so worked up about it? The answers to these questions are the ones that would be truly revealing.

    1. The problem, Adski, is not the language or the separation or learn ancient Greek or promote French in Montreal. The ONLY and BIG problem is the attitude of québécois. You might have understood that, but I would like to remind you of something easy to observe in everyday's life: québécois (or, as my family call them 'Men without qualities', an adaptation from the book by Robert Musil) are emotionally infantilised, are not completely emotionally developed, that's why they react so vehemently when the real world and its rules kick in. Basically, they live on an emotional life support (= PQ and its drivels), like a child clinging onto its favorite toy and, when the toy is gone, he starts screaming, stamping around, pouting, sulking, smashing things.
      Have you noticed that?

    2. Adski,

      You are essentially asking today how can we expect respect when we don't have the self-respect to stand on our own (independence).

      And earlier this this week, you write : "Only a major political event can speed up a cultural change. In my opinion, that political change can only be QC's separation from Canada accompanied by some economic crisis. For as long as QC is in Canada and is economically helped along the way and occasionally even bailed out [...], nothing will change any time soon."

      Interesting. I can't help seeing a new insightfulness in what you write. About the cultural change, it is, à peu de choses près, what Camil Laurin was saying (of course, with completely different motives). And I could easily picture Falardeau asking how can we expect respect when we don't have the self-respect to stand on our own.

    3. @WA - First you create fear, and then you offer protection. You create feelings of self loathing, then offer ways to overcome it with self assertion, self assertion that comes from action, not any action, but the one prescribed by you.

      In addition to it, people need to be given meaning. They need to be part of something bigger than their individual selves. They need to march towards a goal. To make "progress". Propaganda seizes on this.

      The propaganda at work in QC is not much different than in the US, UK, France, or Germany. It just falls on more fertile grounds, because post-colonial societies are more susceptible to it.

    4. Clear and wise thoughts, but do you see a solution to the problem?

    5. @MP, the good side of independence would be freeing the rest of the country from the sphere of influence of QC's obsession, so it can find its own obsessions. Another good thing about it would be that QC propagandists would have to find another "mission", "meaning", another source of fear (my suggestion to QC propagandists: independence or not, we're still "drowning" in the "sea" of English), another way to knock people down in order to bring them up, another way to keep them in an infantile state. I don't think QC society would cease being propagandized because every society is, it's just that propaganda would have to adjust. During this adjustment, there is a chance that some people would slip out of the net and grow up. When a bedrock of propaganda is removed, there is a gap in which people can wake up before a new veil is put over their eyes. I am hoping for that. With independence, there is a chance of this. Without independence, there is none.
      I am also tired of the same theme. I want them to throw something new at me, to challenge me. The "threat" of English makes me yawn as much as did Bush's "threat" of terrorism that necessitates war in faraway lands.

      @WA - Solution? One is tempted to say education, but education is just a path to indoctrination, at least the official system of education (see this Malavoy woman, she's totally forthcoming in admitting it). I'd say read. Read. Read. Cut down on or cut out television, radio, forget about mainstream newspapers as the source of news. Steer clear of books written by the establishment (whether it's Ignatieff, Parizeau, Tony Blair, or Bush, or Clinton). Read books that don't get much promotion on tv or in the press. This is the best indicator of the book being good.

      How to get everyone to do it? I don't know.

    6. "And I could easily picture Falardeau asking how can we expect respect when we don't have the self-respect to stand on our own."

      The answer to Falardeau's question is: from the constant "expectation" of respect, we only put ourselves in an endless cycle of self-loathing because "respect" is not clearly defined or defined in such a way that it is really unachievable. We don't have self-respect not because someone does not really respect us, but because we're being "guided" into feeling disrespected. It is "suggested" to us what constitutes the lack of respect, and being told to feel disrespected on cue. Things that would not make us even blink in propaganda-free society (which does not exist anywhere), make us very worked up in a propagandized society.

      "You are essentially asking today how can we expect respect when we don't have the self-respect to stand on our own (independence)."

      I'm telling you that your feelings of disrespect are mostly artificial. They're artificially created to evoke a desired action.

      For those who get their self-worth from collectivity (nation, country, flag, anthem), I'm saying that independence of QC would not help much. QC would be just another insignificant country in the sea of other insignificant countries. Unless by some miracle you create a major world player, an economic tiger, a military power... and even then you have to appeal to those who grant respect based on the country of origin. Many people don't (for example, I don't think Americans are anything special, even though their country is a superpower, in fact, I find their self righteousness and arrogance a major turn off).

    7. Adski,

      Oddly, there are many things that we agree on.

      "the good side of independence would be freeing the rest of the country from the sphere of influence of QC's obsession, so it can find its own obsessions." Absolutely true.

      "Another good thing about it would be that QC propagandists would have to find another "mission"" Also true. I desperetly hope to see Québec moving on from this toxic dynamic of blame and grievances to getting its act together. I just don't buy into your simplistic vision of a numbed and infantilized population manipulated by big evil Québec propagandists, but we have disagreed on bigger things...

      "I am also tired of the same theme." You are not alone.

      I see things differently about Falardeau. He did not seek respect from anglo-quebeckers or from canadians, he seeked independence, period. And when he asked how can we expect respect when we had no self respect, he was lecturing those of us who were whimping for respect and il leur chiait littéralement dessus de ne pas avoir le courage de l'indépendance.

      "For those who get their self-worth from collectivity (nation, country, flag, anthem) [...]"

      You know, the need to belong to is a basic and normal human need. You sometimes talk as if you were above men or watching the world from a distance (it is not a blame, just an observation...).

      I remember that you told me about a couple of books, No Logo for instance. There is something about these books : the "enemy" that they talk about, the big bad multinational businesses that manipulate the masses, is a abstract and distant "enemy", an enemy that we can all easily be against, and agree together to be against, an enemy so vast, abstract and diffuse that it could not begin to be defeated, and it only fuels cynicism.

      Books such as Parizeau's or JRM Sauvé's raise more difficult questions because the conflicting parties that they deal with are real, they are here and now, they are us, them and you, they are our anglo neighbors, our neoquebecker workmates, our families. The parties that they deal with have a face, they are not faceless, anonynous and distant multinationals.

      It is sometimes easy to look at the world from a distance, it takes courage to live in it.

      Well, this is a long and no so clear comment. Forget about it if it is too unclear. I understand what I mean, sort of...

    8. In line with the observations made by Jacques Ellul ( one of several aims of propaganda is to bring someone down in order to lift him up. You first induce a feeling of worthlessness, then you provide a way for self assertion that can be achieved by action indicated by the propagandist. A "problem" (often something which we ourselves would not identify or even notice) is brought to the fore by the propagandist, the value of the problem is hyped up (in almost every case it is a substitute issue, again, something we ourselves might not even think of), a call to action is made, and through action self assertion and meaning are found. Because the satisfaction is transient, propaganda must be constantly maintained (to harp on QC, since we live here, the stories of "disrespect" of the FR language and culture are circulated daily. Daily. Not every 2 days, not weekly, not monthly. Daily).

      Falardeau, with his denigration of the Quebecois people (those who live on "their knees", have no "self respect", are "sheep"... notice that Louis Prefontaine does the same thing) Falardeau offered a solution - independence. National independence was linked to personal liberty (which is a long leap, but people don't register it), and liberty to getting of your knees. By endless denigration, Falardeau served the power elites as a propagandist. If he wasn't a propagandist, he would not be allowed within a mile of any mainstream media outlet. As it happened, he was a frequent guest.

      I'm not questioning Falardeau's inner motives. He might have been a cynic and a deliberate manipulator, but he could have also been a true believer (Ellul, along with Chomsky and Herman of the Manufacturing Consent fame maintain that most propagandists believe their own propaganda, some other scholars think otherwise). but whether Falardeau believed in what he preached, or not, is not relevant. Because either way, he provided an invaluable service that was not underestimated by those in whose interest the propaganda works.

    9. "And when he asked how can we expect respect when we had no self respect, he was lecturing those of us who were whimping for respect and il leur chiait littéralement dessus de ne pas avoir le courage de l'indépendance."

      WHY were the people wimping for respect? In large part because propagandists like Falardeau told them on daily basis that events that would otherwise be insignificant were really important, and that these events constituted acts of disrespect towards the Quebecois people. If the events were really disrespectful, people would not have to be reminded to feel disrespected, if the disrespect was real, it would have been sensed and would have produced a natural reaction. There would not have to be a guy sitting in some tv studio telling people that they are "on their knees", even if they don't know it. But where there is no natural reaction, an artificial one has to be created, like when Beaulieu tells people daily that some select trivial event that he handpicked from the everyday grind constitutes "meprise".

      Faladeau used a "problem" that he himself identified and defined, and offered a political solution. This is classic propaganda.


      "I remember that you told me about a couple of books, No Logo for instance. There is something about these books : the "enemy" that they talk about, the big bad multinational businesses that manipulate the masses, is a abstract and distant "enemy", an enemy that we can all easily be against,"

      No Logo is actually an anti-corporation tract by Naomi Klein. You can say it is anti-corporate propaganda aiming to discredit corporations, just like you can say that anti-nationalism is just as bad as nationalism. Note however the proportion of pro-corporate propaganda to anti-corporate "propaganda", how the former inundates our airwaves, and the latter must resort to less "popular" outlets, like books which are not the most popular sources of information in our society (otherwise, you would see moves to ban books, books are tolerated not because we live in a "free" society, but because people don't read them). So you can accuse anti-corporate people who point out exploitation, greed, and environmental degradation of propaganda, but note that anti-corporate advocates like Chomsky or Nader have practically been banished from mainstream media since the 1970s, whereas someone with pro-corporate views has the floor on all mass networks.

      Every expressed opinion can be labelled as propaganda. Note though that all the opinion can be divided into 2 groups: "official" opinion, and "dissident" opinion. In every country, this is the case, and in every case the former gets lots of airplay and the latter gets none. Which of the 2 sets of opinion is more accurate? Both are imperfect, but dissident opinion is always closer to the truth. It's because it doesn't serve power and on its way out it doesn't get to go through "filters" of handlers that every piece of official information does.

    10. I agree with most of what you said about propaganda. I will come back to it later. (My daughters don't care about propaganda, they care about eating supper before 18h00.)

      And I understand and agree with most of what you say about No Logo, dissidents and stuff. Still, my point was : it is easy to agree with Naomi Klein's view. She is on the good side and the bad guy is a faceless distant corporation. I am just saying that : it is easy to agree with her.

      But books like Parizeau's (for instance) deal with issues that will affect people who have to live together, when one takes a side, the guy on the other side is not a faceless distant bad guy, it is someone who lives here and now with and among us.

      Once that we have said that everything is propaganda and that propaganda is everywhere (which I don't completely agree), what do we do? How do we live together? The question remains and it is a tough one.

    11. Well Michel - We could live with each other quite nicely if we didn't have one side trying to push the other out of existence which is what the PQ and their ilk want to do. Until these continual attacks on our rights as Canadian citizens cease, there will be no living together unfortunately. We have to partition the province and let those go that want out of Canada to live on their own and in their own limited existence.
      The faster this takes place, the better for all concerned. Let's get moving on this.

    12. Many interesting points here between Patrice and adski - I look forward to reading more.

    13. I hereby crown Adski as the new NDOA heavyweight champion!

    14. adski,

      As I said, I agree with many things you said. However, I don't think that everything is propoganda. You have a cynical (no offense, we live a cynical era) of a numbeb population being manipulated by evil propagandists. It is too simple. And, ironicaly, is not this vision of a tiny separatist propagandist minority manipulating a whole innocent population a product of propaganda?

      And there are grievances that have roots in reality. And the Québec political status issue, for instance, cannot be discarded as a decades old collective psychosis.

      (We spoke a lot about grievances, perceived lack of respect, etc. but I would like to remind that the desire for independence, for many, has nothing to do with grievances.)

      Well, it has been a long and interesting discussion. It began with your comment about a cultural change that separation from Canada would bring. And I agree, it would bring a cultural change.

    15. MP> my point was : it is easy to agree with Naomi Klein's view. She is on the good side and the bad guy is a faceless distant corporation. I am just saying that : it is easy to agree with her.

      But books like Parizeau's (for instance) deal with issues that will affect people who have to live together, when one takes a side, the guy on the other side is not a faceless distant bad guy, it is someone who lives here and now with and among us.

      C>We could live with each other quite nicely if we didn't have one side trying to push the other out of existence which is what the PQ and their ilk want to do. Until these continual attacks on our rights as Canadian citizens cease, there will be no living together unfortunately.


      And there are grievances that have roots in reality. And the Québec political status issue, for instance, cannot be discarded as a decades old collective psychosis.

      It also cannot be exalted as a collective repayment -- or, if you will, the ultimate affirmative action -- to make up for past ills. At some point the nameless faceless English bogeyman needs to become accessible. And as I've incessantly repeated, learning the language is the best first step to doing this. (And yes, it does work both ways).

      I fail to see how measures like postponing the age at which you learn the other's language and amending the school curriculum to impart kids with an even bigger chip on their shoulders, combined with a decades-old attempt to artificially push English further and further into irrelevance are at all healthy ways of dealing with what I do argue is a decades- if not centuries-old collective psychosis.

      It started with the priests and has been passed onto the media-political complex. Predators and prey.

      It's déjà vu all over again, Michel.

    16. Apparatchik,

      Mesures like postponing english and such and the desire for independence are two different things. And the desire for independence is not about repayment and revenge.

      I said "...cannot be discarded as a decades old collective psychosis". Yes, it is in some ways a centuries old collective psychosis, but still it cannot be "simply discarded" just like you can't tell a schyzophrenic : "Just shup up, you are just hallucinating".

      So what do we do? I told you a while ago that you were not (or don't not seem to be) advocating for a reconciliation, you were advocating for a reddition, which has been tried and hasn't worked out for the last two and a half centuries.

      Predators and prey. Simplistic.

      Déjà vu all over again? I know. And I might be just as tired of it as you are.

      (Now I really have to go. Have a nice day.)

    17. Mesures like postponing english and such and the desire for independence are two different things.
      Measures like diminishing the size, space, and money allocated to anything English and the desire for independence should therefore be two different things too. And yet...

      And the desire for independence is not about repayment and revenge.
      Sure it is. Many have also argued that it's also about feeling good about ourselves - to say that WE CAN DO IT TOO! The subtext (and the pitch used to sell it), if you think about it, is the same. French is what we are, English is a foreign language (and what we are not), and those of you who don't agree can go to hell because we're going to stop at nothing to get our way.

      Yes, it is in some ways a centuries old collective psychosis, but still it cannot be "simply discarded" just like you can't tell a schyzophrenic : "Just shup up, you are just hallucinating".
      Maybe, but I can tell a crazy person to seek help. And despite the somewhat burlesque comparison, I do agree that the French Canadian nation in Quebec is in serious need of a collective visit to a psychiatrist. We have some serious issues we need to work through and taking it out on immigrants with funny clothing isn't going to solve these very deep-seated issues. Yes, the honor-killings and genital mutilation are horrendous and unacceptable, but they have nothing to do with existing problems we already faced.

      Meanwhile, the world keeps spinning and I need to eat. That's why I've sought a middle ground and found comfort in a bilingual and bicultural existence that shuns ethnic or linguistic extremism and welcomes participation within institutions of all kinds.

      you were not (or don't not seem to be) advocating for a reconciliation, you were advocating for a reddition, which has been tried and hasn't worked out for the last two and a half centuries.

      I don't think Canada requires that its francophone part "surrender" anything. The proof that Canada has within it the possibility to work is that we've been at it for as long as we have.

      What we do need, however, is an unceremonious dismantling of the media purveyors of insecurity. I've said it before, there's pettiness to get rid of: I believe that one should be able to obtain service in French in Kirkland and in English in Hochelaga without resentment of any kind, and that the size of commercial lettering doesn't have any bearing on the "survival" of a language.

      If anything, genuinely achieving fluency in both the language and the mentality of both sides is a key objective to achieve in order to foster some sort of lasting peace on this subject.

      This objective is clearly not going to be met by further alienating Quebec schoolchildren from the language of all our (very influential) neighbors and by fostering support for separatism among the young and stupid. At 28% support for separation, we have a great opportunity to build bridges between each other and with the rest of the country, yet our provincial government is squandering that opportunity in favor of wedge politics.

      Predators and prey. Simplistic.
      Simplistic, but no less true.
      Eat or be eaten -- or if you prefer -- neuter the English or be neutered by them. It's the bread and butter of Quebec nationalism, Michel.

      "Vive le Québec libre" -- the separatist shahadah -- presupposes that Quebec is not free. Sure, you might argue it's a call to become free. But by that same logic, if Quebec isn't free right now, just whom does the credo implicitly accuse of oppression?

      And I might be just as tired of it as you are.(Now I really have to go. Have a nice day.)
      You too. I might be here after six. Maybe seven. I'm not sure yet, but you'll know either way.

  17. "Why do neither the English side or the French side seem to be able to muster much of a turnout for demonstrations in defence of language issues?"

    I think that you need a acute and immediate danger (or issue, debate, ...) to have a large mobilization. Why would I go to a Mouvement Montréal Français demonstration? Why today but not last week? No major event occured to mobilize people, days are just going by, and only little and trivial things happen here and there.

    It is the frogs in boiling water theory. Put frogs in lukewarm water and slowly raise the water temperature. The frogs will not react, since, each minute giong by, the water is not really warmer than the minute before, so why would they react at this given minute and not the minute before? Put them in boiling water right away, a acute and immediate danger, and elles vont se débattre comme un diable dans l'eau bénite.

    The day before the 95 referendum the english side succeeded in getting thousands of people together since there was a acute and immediate danger.

    Why would I go to a Mouvement Montréal Français demonstration? I often think that they bark up the wrong tree. A barber puts up a sign in english only? I don't care, it is trivial and unimportant. A chinese corner store owner doesn't speak french? I don't want to cause problem to this poor guy, he struggles to make a living without speaking french (a language that he could not learn overnight even if he wanted to) which basicaly condemns him to "little jobs". Give him a break.

    Perhaps also slacktivism

  18. It isn't just francophones leaving the island of montreal, but all kinds of people from different backgrounds. Montreal like many other big cities in Canada are experiencing the same phenomenon.

    The fact is small homes aren't suitable for the majority of the population and the high prices simply shut them out of buying their starter home. You can say wages have been stagnating while the cost of living is skyrocketing, but it's definitely not language related.

  19. Pallo,

    There are anglos and allos leaving the built up areas of the island. On the other hand the Allophones and Anglophones tend to concentrate in areas where there is already a slight anglo and allo presence. They are not comfortable in many cases to be in pur laine areas for many of the same reasons Adiski brought up in previous posts.

    Has anyone thought about the fact that Officer 728
    did not act alone. There was several Policemen involved and that needs to be investigated. It's time the Police woke up and realized that today there are cameras everywhere.
    As for why more people are not demonstrating, I think Michel Patrice summed it up nicely in his recipe for cooking frogs legs. Ed

    1. You know, Ed I've been writing for a while now on the subject of the non-professionalism of the Montreal police and I though about writing another post.
      But you and many others are pointing out the obvious, which is, that others in the SPVM enabled her, including her immediate superior as evidenced by the taped telephone conversation.

      Montreal police are no more inherently bad than other police forces, it is a question of culture and training.

      But others are already making this point and I don't want to waste a post being redundant.

    2. Yeah, I was flabbergasted when the Police spokeseperson kept saying how they'd "just heard about this" - what about all the other people involved? And how he kept saying that no complaint had been lodged - I wouldn't either, in their position! I'd go straight to the media too!


    4. I was flabbergasted when the Police spokeseperson kept saying how they'd "just heard about this" - what about all the other people involved?

      Kinda makes you yearn for the days when Jacques Duchesneau would tell you he knew a lot worse but wasn't going to name any names until it was time...

  21. @ Mr. Sauga 12:55:00 PM EDT
    @ Cutie003 12:40:00 PM EDT

    I'm sorry, I cannot let those two comments stand. I know you are angry with Marie Malavoy, but evoking shades of Nazis and death camps is just unacceptable.

    To all readers who complain that she is a 'foreigner' and as such should not deign to tell us what to do, you should reconsider what you are saying.

    ALL IMMIGRANTS who become citizens are fully participating members of society and NOBODY should ever be criticized for their ethnicity, their roots or country of origin etc.etc.

    I know Madame Malavoy is pissing off a lot of people with her haughty separatist dogmatism that is infuriating because she professes a PQ we-know-better attitude, but let us criticize her for her moronic, elitist and backward opinions and let's leave her country of origin out of it.

    1. Thank you!
      I must say, this is the best moderated page I have come across until now. And yet, everyone is free to speak up. Loving it.

    2. OK, perhaps I tested the limits, but you, at least partially, missed my point. I NEITHER implied that as an immigrant Mme. Malcontent didn't have the right to apply for citizenship and enjoy the rights and freedoms all citizens have NOR was I trying to ridicule her roots/country of birth. This is how too many Québécois «pur laine» label those who are not of their kind, including Jews, Protestants, Muslims...oh...let's face it, all non-Catholics who are not mother tongued in French and born in Quebec. My implication of her degree of citizenship was from the standpoint of the Québécois «pur laine» who considered the likes of you and me as something lesser than them.

      The fact you chose to censure what Cutie and I wrote was yours, and while I fully admit it was not appetizing, I was writing about a vile person, barely a human being, who is planning to act like Hitler's Minister of Propaganda, Josef Goebbels, by conditioning, indoctrinating, inculcating and simply deceiving the minds of our most vulnerable citizens, little children. Young minds are easy to manipulate and control.

      What this bitch is planning to do is nothing less than treason of the worst kind. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed by the state for treason. They sold state security secrets to the Russians (so what - a Canadian military man recently was caught for that) and for that they were executed. The judge who passed sentence stated their crime was worse than murder. What this vile rabid cretin is planning to do is worse than what the Rosenbergs did, and, like most political criminals in Quebec, she's going to get off Scott free. Notwithstanding [former NDP MP] Warren Allmand's abolition of capital punishment in 1976, a special law to execute her should be passed. She'll be murdering minds.

      In all fairness, many of those children will grow up and learn not to be judgmental, but just as many others will not, and therein lies the danger. The overt rabid racist rhetoric of yesterday is what promoted the problems of today and what this vile cretin is planning to do will promote possibly worse problems with the next generation, and so on and so forth. Should this animal be allowed to carry out her "master plan"?

      Editor I agree the country of origin is unimportant but it irritates when a fairly recent arrival speaks down to those thst have been here for years. Ed

    4. Warren Allmand was not an NDP MP, he was the Liberal MP for NDG (Notre Dame-de-Grâce).

    5. Though I respect your stance Editor, I won't relent on mine. After all, most of the sovereignists in power I know are little more than opportunists.

      Same goes for the immigrants who join their ranks. Maka Kotto is a failed actor and had nowhere else to go after his career tanked.

      Miriam Barbot wants a "better society"...why not go back to Haiti and help relieve the intense strife that bedevils that nation?

      Point is this - oppression is unacceptable from the homegrown set...but I won't back down on the fact that those who come over only to aggravate the situation and offer nothing positive don't have a place here.

      I understand you want to remain fair and balanced - these people don't share your point of view Editor. Given the chance they would sell you and your family right down the river if they knew they could get away with it.

      And another reason I find an immigrant dictating terms of living to their host country is that none of them appear to look at what Canada, not Quebec has given them, considering the conditions of their homelands.

      Have you ever been to Haiti, Editor? I have. Never seen poverty like that. People there subsist on soil cakes. Yes, you read right...they eat compacted soil. Vivian Barbot can eat all the meat, fresh organic veggies and fruit juice she wants until she pukes.

    6. Editor : I agree entirely. Fair treatment to everyone.

    7. Vous avez oublié Yolande James,elle est noire elle aussi.

    8. "Vous avez oublié Yolande James,elle est noire elle aussi."

      She was born here you fucking retard.

    9. You know I'm the editor, but just a person just like you.

      Was S.R.'s comment racist?????

    10. Non,j'ai simplement l'impression que les bon immigrants sont ceux qui sont d'allégence fédéraliste et anglophiles.Une idée comme ça.

    11. "Non,j'ai simplement l'impression que les bon immigrants sont ceux qui sont d'allégence fédéraliste et anglophiles.Une idée comme ça."

      No, we get it - but she's not an immigrant all the same. You just get off on pointing out difference. Sorry S.R...there's NO hope for your cause.

      Just accept the fact that you're essentially the "dodo bird" of North America.

    12. Vous portez bien votre nom,diablotin.


    14. LOVE that cartoon, R.S!

      Psst: it's Vivian Barbot.

      j'ai simplement l'impression que les bon immigrants sont ceux qui sont d'allégence fédéraliste et anglophiles
      Dans un Québec "souverain" hypothétique, des immigrants haïtiens et maghrébins qui agiteraient pour une partition du territoire (pour que Montréal redevienne une partie du Canada) ne seraient-ils pas lynchés -- sinon pire -- par les médias québécois?

    15. Well said, Editor, although I am going to be nitpicky and point out a slight error when you write:

      "ALL IMMIGRANTS who become citizens are fully participating members of society and NOBODY should ever be criticized for their ethnicity, their roots or country of origin etc.etc."

      All immigrants who become citizens are NOT fully participating members of society in Quebec when it comes to language of education because even immigrants who become citizens cannot, in Quebec, send their children to English language schools if they come from English speaking countries such as the United States whereas French immigrants from France or Haiti who come to any of the other nine provinces and become citizens CAN send their children to French language schools.


    16. If you liked that one, Apparatchik, there are plenty more like it at

      This one is my favourite for this weekend:

  22. Sorry Editor but I found the background of the lady to be pertinent in this case and the familiarity of the word as a weapon used in turning one race and/or one people against one another very similar to the old days. I was certainly not portraying all immigrants to be this way inclined but rather just similar techniques as being used. It is certainly your choice to delete the comment if you wish. Thank you.

    1. I think an immigrant who becomes a citizen of a country should be taken to task for advocating the break up of their adopted country. Did she not swear allegiance to Canada when she gained citizenship? She's treasonable just like the rest of the PQ.

    2. And I think that

      1. To say people who are separatists are traitors is to hold your own nationalism to a higher esteem than a people's right to self-determination.

      2. People who immigrate here are free to join any political ideology that they want. To imply otherwise is to want to treat immigrants differently than "real" Canadians/Québecois, and is no better than the Péquistes who insinuate that "ethnic" vote is less valid than Québecois vote in a referendum.

    3. It's problematic when the political ideology involves stripping away the rights of other Canadians.

    4. But you're not focusing on that, you're focusing on separation in itself. Why is it that an immigrant is allowed to vote non, but not allowed to vote oui?

    5. See my earlier reply to S.R. at 8:38 above. Could parts of a hypothetically separated Quebec could "acceptably" (to separatists) be ceded back to Canada?

      I agree with Durham, Yannick, in that this particular dogma is less about self-determination and more about revanchism, especially when the latter is peddled by an opportunistic class of self-styled intellectuals who dare to tell me how to think.

      Is separation the means or the end? Is anglo repression the means or the end? And are either of these particularly good means... or ends? Durham is spot on. Many Quebec nationalist commentators have stated our language legislation has as much to do with making the francophone PEOPLE in Quebec feel secure as it does with actually advancing the LANGUAGE itself. And with the well-fueled fear-based propaganda industry that adski expertly summarized above, who needs facts when all we need to keep this cancer alive is fear and hate? What do you get when you take fear and add it to a moving target that keeps upping the ante? A cancerous political machine that manufactures a tyranny of the majority... all tied up in a neat little bow.

      It's a zero-sum game and the sooner we get our heads out of this sovereignty-as-panacea bullshit, the better. I'll still be waking up in a highly-taxed nanny state where it's twenty below for a good part of the year. Come to think of it, we really ARE all here because we're not all there.

      I'll take the tyranny of forced and equal accommodation over the tyranny of a forced monopoly that is imposed solely to flatter the ego of a historically defeated party.

      This debate isn't about oil and water. It's about human and human. We'll still have to get along whether we want to or not.

  23. I must say that I'm impressed by the quality of the debate tonight. I can only hope this comment of mine remains the most trivial of the whole thread.

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

    1. That post was completely inappropriate. Nope not funny.

  25. In reply to your question - yes, the issue is overblown. But it is overblown by those who control media, so then it somehow becomes "public opinion". And that, in return, widens the gap. You see the vicious circle?

    It's time to stop this Anglo vs Franco bs, and start a movement towards unity, understanding and so on. One key thing we need = bilingual media. Truly bilingual TV, radio and print. Than misunderstandings will start to evaporate faster than Mr Beaulieu can fart.

    P.S. why lump all these news in one post? I wish I could answer on different topics separately, rather than getting drowned in flood of unrelated commentaries.

    1. I partly blame the CRTC for some rather antiquated ways of thinking whereby the approval of radio/television had to be done on the basis of several factors, including language.

      While I don't particularly think that the CBC/Radio-Canada have done much to foster a notion of shared Canadianness since 1936, I do wonder whether several decades of shared programming (in the form of bilingual programs) would have done for this country.

  26. Sadly, I am an English teacher. I think that Malvoy trimming of English instruction is the beginning of a slippery slope of trimming instruction up to the point that it is almost nonexistent. Already English is not seen as a very serious criteria in schools. Students do not need to pass the class for graduation. Students know this and act accordingly, that is to say they do not take English seriously. The English department is often under funded and scorned by other departments and not to mention by the school commissions. Furthermore, many quality English teachers cannot get into school commissions if they do not pass a French exam which creates a situation that many teachers that are teaching English are francophones that have either little understanding of the language or in some cases do not teach English at all.There are some parents that see its importance of its instruction, but there are more that simply do not care about their children's progress in English at all. This can be seen in every parent's night meeting where a teacher would be lucky to have five visitors. I have decided to quit this profession and look forward unto another field to make my living. I do not wish this nightmare on anyone that is thinking of becoming an English teacher in the francophone school commissions. In fact I will not be surprised to see my position abolished all together in the near future or they day after a successful separation of the province.

    1. You are an ESL teacher? I pity you immensely... I would never subject myself to that nightmare. You're absolutely correct about the attitude children have towards ESL. If they know they don't need it to pass, coupled with the inability and/or incompetence of a francophone unilingual in teaching English, and only then added on to the typical child's indifference towards high-school in general...

      It makes you wonder how francophones even manage to get beyond "yes, no, toaster" vocabularies.

  27. Je ne vois vraiment pas l'intérêt pour un Québécois d'apprendre l'anglais.À moins de travailler dans un milieu touristique à Montréal,même encore,aucune loi ne nous y oblige.

    1. S'ouvrir sur le monde? Même si je travaillais en milieu unilingue francophone, je ne me passerais pas de la langue anglaise.

    2. Beaucoup de personnes sur ce blogue se gargarisent avec le concept (totalement abstrait) d'ouverture sur le monde mais sont totalement fermé lorsqu'il est question du Québec.

    3. J'avoue qu'ils ne sont guère mieux, mais dire que l'anglais est entièrement inutile pour le Québecois moyen, il y a un pas.

      Toi S.R., voyages-tu sans anglais?

    4. Non, ben si tu habite dans une forêt, t'en a pas besoin, mais sinon - t'as qu'à chercher les avantages et tu les trouvera.

      Écoute ça, Fillion le resume assèz bien :))) je dois dire il est courageux, ce mec

    5. Merci de partager Natalia, c'est fascinant. :)

    6. Natalia,évite les références radios-poubelles,ils ont zéro crédibilité.

    7. Traduction: si ça ne vient pas d'un hyperlien sur Vigile, ça n'a aucune crédibilité.

      Surtout pas d'un drettiste comme Jeff Fillion.

    8. Bien sûr, les médias 'subventionnés' n'auraient jamais osé! Une opinion libre? Mais quelle HORREUR! On ne peut même pas commenter sur les articles re Malavoy sur La Presse. J'aimerais énlever les subventions publiques des médias qui n'offrent pas une tribune au public. Ça aurait changé le 'landscape' ;)
      Il met de devant plein de points, comme la survie de la langue Allemande, sans abbatement d'autres langues, l'économie, les bienfaits du bilinguisme. Bref, tout ce de quoi S.R. n'aimerait pas que les gens discutent.

    9. J'aimerais énlever les subventions publiques des médias qui n'offrent pas une tribune au public. Ça aurait changé le 'landscape' ;)

      Off with your head, CBC!
      To the guillotine, Radio-Canada!

      Liberté, je crie ton nom partout!

      On ne peut même pas commenter sur les articles re Malavoy sur La Presse.
      Y a-t-il des articles qu'on peut commenter sur le site-même de La Presse? En passant, Gesca, c'est privé.

    10. I am not sure what you mean. I can comment on R-C, all I need is an account. A public-funded media, for me, it means that there is give and take and people are free to express their opinion on the news reported there. Otherwise - it is one way propaganda. In addition - we pay for it :) really funny

      I was under the impression that private media can also apply for public 'subventions'. Is that not the case?

      Apparatchik, would you also know who funds The Suburban and The Metropolitain?

    11. Jeff Fillion,Doc Mailloux : Même combat.

    12. S.R., je m'en fou de ce que vous avez à dire depuis un bout-là. Et en voyant combien de vos commentaires sont enlevés, je suis surprise que les gens prêtent encore attention à votre trolling.

      S.R. It has been a while I do not care about what you have to say. And judging by the number of comments of yours that get removed, I am surprised other people still pay attention to your trolling.

    13. Here's one reason to learn English:

      (P.S.: Join the group if you wish!)

    14. I meant you can “like” (not join) the Facebook page, if you wish, and have a look at these others as well:

      Démission de Pauline Marois :

      Montréal Bilingue - Bilingual Montreal: :

      Steve Théberge: :
      (you can simply “Subscribe” to this one)

      Le Mouvement des Bilingues du Québec / The Bilingual Movement of Québec: :ébec-The-Bilingual-Movement-of-Québec/151455778275114

  28. You know S.R, that is the saddest comment you ever made.

    I hope you are just trying to be argumentative, because if you could snap your fingers and automatically become fluent in English, wouldn't you want to?

    1. Sorry Ed...that's what you get. S.R, please carry are perfectly right.

      If English were abolished from Quebec only the tourism industry would be affected
      so what's the point in preserving it?

      Vive un Quebec Uber Alles!

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

  29. @ nataliawalsh

    One of your comments was inadvertently erased because of a slip of the wrist.
    I am sorry.
    I cannot even tell you what is was about..

    1. I thought I saw 2 missing on the other thread, but one of them was a long one, so it is gone and that is fate, I guess. Perhaps I should start logging them in on my end ;) jk. That experience on The Suburban really made me paranoid...

    2. My long post at the end of the previous topic (Hostility) is not there. Posted near midnight yesterday and I saw it went through... :( Is there a reason? It was a nice, all-encompassing opinion of a fresh, untainted visitor to your blog. I find it extremely disappointing it is not there. I put my heart into it. I decided I am saving my comments from now on, to avoid further heart break.

    3. False alarm. My apologies. It didn't load automatically and the 'read more' was not in it's usual place, but below the comment box.

  30. I do not blame students for not wanting to learn the language in an environment in which there is hostility towards the language. An English teacher's position can be seen as an attempt at assimilating the students into becoming anglophones ( as strange as this might sound). Some students even take it is as a point of pride that they are unwilling to learn the language, proving that they are more Quebecois than anyone.Therefore the hostility towards English instruction seems natural under the PQ government that hold this opinion, who is more Quebecois than a PQ supporter? ( so the thought goes among many french Canadians. To learn English for some can be an act of betrayal towards their quest for identity.

    1. Very nice comment but.....
      You aren't allowed to comment under 'Anonymous'
      Please go to the top of the blog, and click on "How to comment" on the green bar....

      Thank you..

  31. You know what? Screw it.

    The whole school thing doesn't really affect us (us being anglos). All it does is remove yet more rights from the majority population, and gives them even less choice when choosing their children's educations. Naturally I am against politicising the educational system, but the PQ wants to have little brainwashed robots to vote for them on the people's dime. Remember when they proposed to lower to voting age to 16 merely because it suited their purpose? This is the same thing, only times ten.

    The francophones, independistes and francosupremacists (whatever) are doing this to themselves. They want to take away their own goddamn rights? Fine. Every single francophone that I have ever asked says that they don't really care about not having the right (just the right!) to send their children to English school.

    It screws over the ethnics big time, mind you, but I don't need to reiterate that Quebecers do not care if their rights are taken away as long as it's to protect the French culture or whatever the party line is at the time.

    "I do not blame students for not wanting to learn the language in an environment in which there is hostility towards the language. An English teacher's position can be seen as an attempt at assimilating the students into becoming anglophones ( as strange as this might sound). Some students even take it is as a point of pride that they are unwilling to learn the language, proving that they are more Quebecois than anyone.Therefore the hostility towards English instruction seems natural under the PQ government that hold this opinion, who is more Quebecois than a PQ supporter? ( so the thought goes among many french Canadians. To learn English for some can be an act of betrayal towards their quest for identity."

    I have noticed this attitude as well, and it is unfortunate that young francophone Quebecers are unable to think for themselves. I remember when I was a kid asking why English was bad, and no one had a good reason. "It's not French" or "We don't need it" were the most popular answers. Hardly legitimate ones, but whatever, this is the mindset that is present in many Quebecers of all ages.

    It's like saying "why is it bad to be Canadian?". They say typical answers like "I don't like Harper" or "so we can be free" and other vague halfsplanations. Nothing substantiated.

    Ask yourselves;

    Hypothetically, if Quebec were to be independent, would Quebecers then have the right to decide what language their children are educated in? I don't think so, I think that it's more an issue of power & control and the big fat paycheque that politicians get than it is of language.

    Remember that most of these so called francosupremacist politicians have had their educations in English, or are sending their children to English schools on the taxpayer's dime, because even they know that you're better off knowing the lingua franca of the world.

  32. Well Natalia I'm going to try once more then I'm giving up - there is no reconciliation with the separatists - 40 years of shutting up, letting them run things their own way, even after being continuously beaten down by the separatists in this province, have proven this method does not deter them from pushing and pushing their agenda. THEY WILL NOT STOP UNLESS WE STOP THEM. You would never convince them to have BILINGUAL ANYTHING, let alone TV, radio and any form of communication. Why do you think they are trying to demand control over communications from the Federal government? Do you think they are doing this to make anything bilingual? You are having a pipe dream if you believe any of that. NO MORE POWER TO QUEBEC AND BRING ON A PARTITION MOVEMENT.

    1. Reconciliation is hardly giving up. Or running. Or dismissing others for their political position. It is about no longer having US and THEM. Let me have my dream and you can keep existing canned in your anger and intolerance. You are free to give up now.

    2. You are no different than our contributor complicated in that you refuse to see what is so obvious to the federalists on this blog.

    3. I am a federalist :P what is it that I refuse to see?

      Have you ever wondered what YOU refuse to see? What you refuse to see is that language and tone is of an essence in such a touchy issue. US/THEM, French vs English, Quebec VS Canada - this segregation and generalization serves to cement hostility and confrontation. As a Quebecer, I can't understand how any other person, claiming to also be a Quebecer, would want to split this province in two, voluntarily. As a Canadian, I can't understand how someone, claiming to be Canadian - would want to exclude Quebec from this country, where it has been from its inception, may I remind you. I can only understand how a British crown subject would want to do that.

    4. That shows how young you are because I will say again - 40 years of having our rights as Canadians repressed by the separatists is quite long enough, thank you. You seem to think that splitting the province is a big deal and I don't. I see it as the end to a long and, unfortunately, unfruitful association with quebec wanting more and more and willing to give less and less to the ROC. The "British crown subject" comment is a really dumb connection to what is going on in this province. The separatists do not want reconciliation with the federalists - if they did they would stop with the divisive and confrontational attitude and the dismissive way that they deal with the English and Allophones that reside here. I have resided here for 60 years and my rights are to be respected as well as the rights of separatists, which the separatists refuse to see (and you as well). The end of this will come when they have a few areas of the province in which to live totally controlled by them and them alone. They will not be satisfied until this happens and they make that very clear all the time. AND IT IS US/THEM (FEDERALISTS/SEPARATISTS). This isn't even over language as much as it is power and control that the separatists want. AND WHAT YOU REFUSE TO SEE IS AS CLEAR AS THE NOSE ON YOUR FACE. You talk as if we can all hold hands and sing "Ring around-the-Rosie" and all these problems will go away - that's why I say you are very young and/or very naive. This will NEVER be settled your way = it's been tried for years and years!

    5. And, by the way, I'm Canadian first and Quebercer second. That's the way it will always be - my country first and the province in which I reside, second. That is also the way most people in the world think = country first. I am also not ashamed of being an anglophone any more than francophones are embarrassed that they are who they are. What the separatists should be more concerned with is their allegiance lies with a province rather than the country that protects their rights and their language. Do you think Canada would be legally bilingual if it not were for the province of quebec? Of course not - so what are they bitching about all the time? Do you not understand? Do you not see that they are in the wrong limiting peoples' rights in this province? Wow!

    6. "The "British crown subject" comment is a really dumb connection to what is going on in this province."

      Cutie is right. If Canada eliminated the monarchy and became a republic the Quebec nationalists would still not be satisfied. We've been appeasing them for over 40 years and nothing has worked.

    7. By the way, the term "British Subject" ceased to be used in Canada in 1977.

      Anyone who continues to use it in 2012 (like that nationalistic singer who wanted his book to be withdrawn from consideration for a literary award from the Governor General) is being deliberately anachronistic.

  33. To the English teacher - I am so sorry for you. Take pride in what you do and get out of here to teach English somewhere you will be appreciated. I hope this is a real possibility for you. Some of us are stuck here for reasons we don't discuss but if you can, I hope you make a move. Teaching is a proud underpaid profession and it's a damn shame that you are forced out by this stinking government. Good luck.

  34. Woo hoo!

    Here come even more taxes for Quebec in the name of promoting the sovereignist agenda:

    Dans les dernières années, le gouvernement fédéral a réduit son aide à l'Afrique. Huit pays africains ont été retirés de la liste des pays prioritaires pour le Canada. Ottawa est de plus réfractaire à ce que l'Afrique ait un siège permanent au Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies.

    «Le fait que le gouvernement fédéral tende à se replier, a dit Mme Marois, c'est effectivement un espace que nous pourrions occuper au sens d'aider et d'accompagner (les pays africains). Donc, s'il y est moins, on y sera plus. Dans la mesure de nos moyens, je suis prête à faire un pas.»

    1. So she's going to give money... that the Federals give to Quebec... to African countries that only lost their Canadian aid because of human rights abuses and whatnot?

      Okay, Quebec.

    2. Yah... this is what it sounds like. But, coming from Pauline, do you actually this is going to happen? Isn't she the queen of about-face?

    3. Now which Uncle Tom want's to suggest that Pauline Marois and the Separatists are great democrats.......

  35. If it suits her political agenda, she doesn't give a damn what it costs the taxpayers of this province. She proves that everyday. Drive the money out by taxing them to death, along with their businesses or make it so difficult to carry on a business that they leave because they don't have the money to operate in a different language to suit her bigoted agenda. Sure, Pauline, give away another few million, we're just dying to pay more mf taxes to the witch. God, this place is disgusting!

    Editor, I see you have deleted my comical post. It's called Satire. Satire is expected tgo be outrageous. What I wrote is not one tenth as outrageous as what Marois and malavoy are doing and bragging about on open television. If we're not mature enough to laugh at our situation perhaps we should leave it to correct itself. It will do eventually one way or another. Ed

    1. Ed I am protecting your reputation and that of this blog.
      Satire and sarcasm are hard to transmit in the written word.

      Some of things you wrote were funny to some but some can be misconstrued by others.
      People read our blog all over the world and we do not need to come off as racist.

      Already is calling us a 'hate site' which we know is not true, but when people whose first language is not English read a reprinted piece which is meant to be humorous, it does not always translate.

      Trust me when I say to all of the loyal contributors, like you, that I am protecting your reputation and that of this blog.

      i hope you understand....


    Are you a federalist or a sovereigntist?
    A communist, or a rightest?
    A Francophone or an Anglophone?
    An immigrant or native born?

    Truly it doesn't matter because there is, I believe, a consensus among all citizens of goodwill, that the action of Agent 728 are unacceptable in a free and democratic society.

    Regardless of our political or linguistic persuasion, we all believe that the forces of order must demonstrate honour and trustworthiness and that this concept transcends all levels of society. (I hope so)

    Who can defend agent 728?

    Just by coincidence, the subject of a piece written on this very blog piece has done just that.

    Just as he blamed the actions of nutbar Richard Bain on Anglos, Robert Barberis-Gervais, in another piece on vigile.dreck (thank you to Jewish reader for the reference) blamed everyone else for the excessive force demonstrated by this out-of-control policewoman on others, including, Jean Charest, Lucien Bouchard and Radio-poubelle as well as Journal de Montréal writers like Richard Martineau and Eric Duhaime.

    As Flip Wlson used to say.

    "The devil made me do it!""


    1. Hey, look, he made a mistake. Fourth paragraph from the bottom.

      "le langage utilisé par l’agents 728,"

      Also, I can't tell who he's blaming. It's all kind of... vague...

    2. Please sign this petition to get rid of her once and for all

    3. Editor,

      Would you please stop referring the policewoman in question as "Agent / Officer 728"? Her name is Stefanie Trudeau.

      Troy, Why should we care what her name is. The TV news and the press are all calling her officer 728 which identifies her from the other law abiding police officers. If you're asking us show her respect she has to show she deserves it first. Ed

    5. I heard that the person she was speaking to was not her superior, but her life partner.

      I'm not sure that makes it much better...

  38. Well, I have to say that during the student protests I was reading a whole lot of rhetoric that sounded a lot like what 728 was saying, except with not quite as many "ostis".

    I'm sure there's quite a few people who were doing the same back then who are today condemning this policewoman without a hint of self-awareness, and that's unfortunate.

  39. I am having a hard time understanding how the Journal de Montreal/ and some media can in clear conscience write a hostile tone against the English language. worst yet is the comments from readers that are generated each time English makes headlines. I am very worried at the tone that these "conflicts" condoned and exaggerated by the media have created. I just wish we could find a way to respect and live together in harmony and peace without violating the rights of anyone. However, to villainize a language is to vilainize those that speak it.

    Yes, I am a proud anglophone, this was fate, I was born an Anglo, I could have been as easily born a francophone etc.. if certain circumstances were different, and I could have been a proud francophone. But pride does not justify violating other individuals and their rights to be respected.

    The truth is Anglophones and Francophones have a history in this province, the Montreal flag proves it. We both have rights in this land.No matter how much history can be twisted in the attempt to say otherwise (the Patriots were about taxes, and both anglos and francos fought in it,and it had nothing to do with language)The French struggle for identity is similar to a Canadian identity struggle, are we Americanized or Britishized or simply Canadian, Are the French, French,Canadian, French-Canadian, or Quebecois.To separate from the English language is an attempt to find an identity. As much as I understand this, I still think can be done without repressing the Anglo population and heap hostile anti-English rhetoric and policies an identity can be forged without these detrimental techniques.

    In fact, it would be hard for french Canadians to forge an identity with recognizing its Anglo population, since as I have said previously, we are part of Quebec history (Irish, Scottish, English)and to state that we were colonist and oppressors is far from the truth. Maybe the British Empire was at that time considered oppressors, they were considered an oppressor with the Irish Scottish populations too,but the common Irish and Scottish immigrant who fled their native lands for better opportunities were not oppressors(whom by the way were hostile towards the British Empire.). The majority of Anglos can trace their lineage to this historical phenomena.Let us not forget the Hebrews, Italians and Greeks etc.. whom have adopted English. They have helped build this province, and they shall to continue to do so if they are given a place, and respect needed to grow and blossom, treated like equals, like a citizen should be in this province.I just wish we could simply agree that we are all brothers despite our language and ethnicity to build a better tomorrow.

  40. Editor, how do you know that S.R. is a francophone? His English thus far has been impeccable. There is a reasonable possibility that he is a retired bilingual anglophone who is mocking francophones.

  41. Michel Patrice, what are your views on the remarks of Marie Malavoy that were quoted by the Editor?

    1. The remarks about english teaching and history teaching?

      About english teaching. I think that first graders should learn to read and write first. True, younger children learn languages better, but this is true only in an immersion environment. A class of twenty francophones with one english teacher doesn't provide this kind of immersion.

      I have had a discussion with our school english teacher, I noted that children do not learn much in english. I said that when one looks at all they are able to learn in maths, french, etc, one knows they could learn more. This has put the teacher on defensive. A long story.

      My second daughter will attend intensive english grade 6, but I am highly skeptical because of the improvisation and because of the shortcomings of the current english teaching. I believe they teach english the wrong way and I don't think that intensively teach it the wrong way will help so much.

      About history teaching. The current history currilum emphasize social history (no sure if it's the right translation...), I would prefer a more national history, and a national history would of course have to deal with the national question. The debate around what we should teach and how we should teach it would be a very interesting debate. (Le Devoir published a series on this a while ago, interesting.)

      What about you? Do you think that young anglos should have intensive french grade 6? Perhaps are they already having it. I know that, contrary to popular belief, most anglo-quebeckers speak at least some french.

    2. Michel, I know a fully bilingual francophone Quebecer that was involved in setting up those immersion ans intensive programs, and their proposition was based on massive research. Now, if the implementation sucks...II think he should know about it. I will try to see if he can come here, as he would definitely explain it better than I ever could.

      What do you mean by 'english is taught wrong'?

      I am sending my child to FACE when he grows up. Their english side is now fully bilingual, but their french side can't be, they deplore. Kids study music and arts together. They are a public school and they have 99% graduation rate. And most importantly, kids love it! Where there is a will, there is a way.

      And about the national question... I had history here in Sec 4 and 5. Guess how much Montreal anglophone history we have covered?

      And if kids were to be taught about identity politics, shouldn't they have an ACTUAL politics as well as a critical thinking class? And they need to understands what it would cost to set up that country as well. Teaching only one aspect is giving teachers carte blanche to indoctrinate.

    3. Mr Patrice, I believe you are wrong. There are plenty of instances where parents are sending their children to kindergartens in a foreign language. I am not talking about Qc. Those children speak perfectly their mother tongue and the language taught at kindergarten. This is even before reading and writing. I am sure the children from Qc are as capable as others, right?

      If the children you are referring to cannot read or write properly, it's not because they are learning a second language. It's because a) the school is not doing what it's supposed to, or b) they're stupid. You pick.

      "A class of twenty francophones with one english teacher doesn't provide this kind of immersion." Well, I have the perfect solution: children should not be allowed to speak any other language during that class *gasp*. Sounds familiar? I am also sure Yannick will not have anything against this.

    4. "Well, I have the perfect solution: children should not be allowed to speak any other language during that class *gasp*. Sounds familiar? I am also sure Yannick will not have anything against this."

      Huh? Isn't it normal to not speak French during English class? The point of it is to be learning English after all. Isn't that how it's taught in Quebec?

      But then again, to expect first graders who are being exposed to another language for the first time to be able to do this.. erm. I don't know?

    5. Natalia,

      (Ihave only about 15 minutes for now.)

      History teaching is contreversial since, I guess, the population is divided on the national question issue. And history teaching will remain contreversial. Look at EDM's comment on the dictionnary definitions and you will see to what extend little details will be discussed and nitpicked. We can discuss history teaching later, it would be interesting and I have suggested a while ago the Editor to write a post about history teaching in french and english classes (I suggested that I could copy pages from my daughter's history books).

      But too little time this morning.

    6. About english teaching.

      In my view, english is taught wrong and children are far from learning as much as they could.

      I have been told by the english teacher that the goal was not to have children learn the language but to be awaken to the existence of this language. I am glad that they actually learn mathematics and that they are not only awaken to the existence of mathematics...

      To give a specific instance :

      Children are provided with a reference sheet, the object pronouns are listed.

      Me --­} Me, moi
      You --­} Te, toi
      Him --­} Le, lui
      Her --­} La, elle
      Us --­} Nous
      You --­} Vous
      Them --­}Les, eux

      So using this list, my daughter translates "Je te vois" to "I you see" which is wrong. The list should provide an example of the use of the word. Something like :

      Te, toi --­} you. I see you. (Je vois toi.)

      This is one little example out of many.

      Yannick, you are right, it is normal that one doesn't speak french in english class. But then the english immersion experience is provided by twenty other young francophones who don't speak a word of english.

      The teacher speaks english only. To have the children understand the meaning of, let's say, "behind", she shows the children that her chair is BEHIND her desk, emphasizing BEHIND, the children eventually get that "behind" is "derrière". Mime and gestures will work to some extend but mime and gestures will not go a long way in explaining abstract concepts such as "subject" and/or "object". Perhaps, instead of using the inefficient language of mime and gestures, the teacher should sometimes use the french language to explain some concepts.

      Well, a long discussion. But I have to go for now. Have a nice everyone.

    7. One last note, I am not only critical about the way english is taught, but also critical about the way that french is taught (to francophones, I don't know much about french as a second language).

    8. @Michel:

      Would you agree that your daughter might be more fluent in English if she had more exposure to the language (e.g. TV, radio, music, blogs, writing)?

      Are you able to make up for the shortcomings of her current English-language curriculum using these means?

      Do you think that that gets to the heart of true meaning of "immersion"?

    9. First, I would like to say - TS is right. There is NO REASON, other than learning disabilities or poor teaching, that the kids in elementary would not be able to pick up a second, even third language. It has been proven time and time again, that even if it takes a little longer to learn the languages because of language interference, the advantages that come from introduction to multiple languages at a young age are unbeatable intellect and memory boosters. It makes me very sad when I see Quebec politician depriving children of opportunities and restricting their development, because of their own thirst for power.

      Even if it is harder, than only doing everything in one language, it develops child's abilities to understand, multitask, pronounce, write and so on. Perhaps the intensive english classes should concentrate on spoken English and having fun in English, rather than following the strict vocabulary/syntax/conjugation. There is plenty of time to perfect those in High school, while pronunciation will be much harder to master, if they start then. But then again, I am a person that firmly believes that children's learning should be axed on fun, pleasure and discovery, rather than work, grades and memorization. They learn faster that way, and they learn to LOVE the actual process of learning. I am fed up seeing young children with raccoon eyes and tears. I look at the public education system and I feel like setting it all in flames.

    10. Nat, you're probably an interesting case in terms of language acquisition.

      According to your blog, you came here from Russia in the mid 90s as a teenager. Your written English seems virtually accentless and I wonder whether your spoken English is too.

      How'd you do it, if not by willful and frequent exposure?

    11. Yannick, I was referring to everyone speaking English in the English class, not just the teacher. So if Sylvie wants a pen from Marie, she should be able to ask for it, with teacher's help, in English (or any other language that class is teaching). I understand this is not a regular way of teaching it, so I think it is wrong. And I still think children should be allowed to speak any language they choose to, during recess.

    12. "How'd you do it, if not by willful and frequent exposure?"

      Elle n'avait qu'à regarder la télé et naviguer un peu sur le web.

    13. Apparatchik,

      "Would you agree that your daughter might be more fluent in English if she had more exposure to the language? (e.g. TV, radio, music, blogs, writing)"

      Obviously. This is a truism.

      "Are you able to make up for the shortcomings of her current English-language curriculum using these means?"

      I am, as well as I am able to make up for shortcomings in mathematics, french, or whatever. Nevertheless, my ability or inability to make up for these shortcomings do not change the fact that there are shortcomings.

      If you meant specifically able to make up for the shortcomings by the means of exposure to TV, radio, etc, then yes and no. Just by being exposed to TV, children might pick up something, but they will not magically learn the language. They still have to be told "the code" (the grammar, syntax, etc), once they know the basics of the code, things might kick in better.

      "Do you think that that gets to the heart of true meaning of "immersion"?"

      Not sure what you mean. But I think that the english class is not an immersion environment. Does it answer your question?

    14. TS,

      "So if Sylvie wants a pen from Marie, she should be able to ask for it, with teacher's help, in English [...]"

      It is exactely how the class works. In theory, it is just fine. In practice however, Sylvie, instead of asking for Marie's pen, just shuts up and waits for the end of the hour. That why I say that english class is not an immersion environment. If one lives in an english family for one week, one will have to speak someday.

      And I am not advocating that children should speak french in english class. I say that for some explanations about grammar, syntax and vocabulary, perhaps the teacher should speak french to be understood.

  42. This isn't the first time the separatists have tried to enforce their political views on the education system- and I can say this as a youngster. As a french immersion student, I have seen right before my very eyes the influence of separatism on the education system. I have used several french dictionaries, the most controversial of which is called "Le Robert Junior" (Yes a dictionary targeted at children, disgusting really) Here are some actual dictionary definitions from it.

    Canadien adj. Du Canada ou qui concerne le Canada. Lr peuple canadien est essentiellement constitué de francophones et d'anglophones.

    Hmm... seems like a questionable definition of "Canadien". It's pretty much dividing our entire country into two groups, similar to separatist propaganda that we are two different cultures.

    québécois adj. et n.m., québécoise adj. et n.f.
    adj. De la province du Québéc La littérature québécoise est três riche
    n.1.Personne née dans la province de Québéc ou qui l'habite. Les Québécois sont très chaleureux

    An interesting contrast in definitions, is it not? Apparently, the Québécois are warm-hearted people with rich literature, but Canadians can't even be defined as one people.

    [Another tidbit of note, the inside of the cover of the book displays the "flags of the world" showing every single sovereign state in the world (as well as the flags of the UN, Europe, Commonwealth of nations, red cross etc.) but not even a single sub-federal government, (not even an overseas territory (with the exception of Puerto Rico), not even a constituent country like England or Scotland,)) except Quebec, who's flag is alphabetised alongside the countries of the world. A child reading this would easily think that Quebec is a sovereign country, which it very clearly is not.]

    This book was of course published in 1994, the year before the second sovereignity referendum. It is used in Canadian schools.

    1. Look, I agree with you 100% that those definitions are problematic, but the Robert is a French dictionary manufactured overseas.. it's a bit difficult to accuse them of being pro-separatist when no one associated with Quebec works on its manufacture.

      Are you sure it was le Robert?

    2. Yes, it's definitely Le Robert. It's a Canadian edition copyrighted under the Montreal branch of the company, though.

    3. Amusing anecdote:

      I remember being very young and leafing through my parents' (1970's era) copy of the Robert and saw the exact same thing. I didn't know it then, but many countries listed inside the cover didn't even exist by the time I had gotten to that volume. In any case, I remembered thinking how nice it to see two(!) flags I easily recognized (out of the several dozen printed there), though I was perplexed...

      Upon realizing that the book was printed several years before I was born, my first reaction was to show it to my mother and ask her when Quebec had stopped being a country...

      Hey, I was a little kid!

    4. That makes sense EDM, my bad. I didn't know Quebec printed its own copies.

  43. The fact that the separatists feel it is right to re-write history is enough reason to ask them to leave our country. Canada has played host to these people long enough - now we can give them some land out of our mass and ask them to leave and live as they wish - alone and isolated. We must partition this province and let them go it alone and everyone will get what they wish for. I don't want my grandchildren brainwashed by these people into believing they have no history in this province and that the English did not contribute to the making of our country great let alone their own home territory. We must rid ourselves of this blemish in our history and ask them to leave with the land that they choose to vote to keep in Federal District Referendums.

    To teach children either language they should start with the pronunciation of the letters. Almost Sesame street style. The boy across the street calls himself Marc with an 'a' as in 'back' where in English we say Mark with a broad 'a' as in bark. An old well beloved French teacher taught me this when I used to sing for weddings and funerals. Today when I speak French I have very little English accent. Ed

    1. And there is Pauline causing problems in Africa at the Francophone conference and Mr. Harper not taking a stance. We really have to get rid of these people. She's over there talking about human rights as if we don't have a problem with them right here in Quebec! These people have no sense of ethics or responsibility whatsoever - they have to go!

    2. Cutie, we do agree on that one! :)

  45. Tir groupé de six multinationales contre l'Office de la langue française

    Si walmarde est pas content...

    1. Oh goodie!!!! I wonder, does a Mercedes-Benz or Lexus dealership need a French descriptor?

  46. Re: English/History teaching...

    Our children have/will have additional home lessons on English and WORLD history. I grew up learning about the whole world, not just my own provine/country. I think it is tragic when kids are robbed of this...

  47. Boycotts such as those that the Editor reports M. Prefontaine is considering is something that all anglophones and lovers of freedom should encourage.


    Because it means the death of the "Marked Predominance" decision of the Supreme Court and mitigates for full freedom of choice in language of commercial signs.

    The Supreme Court of Canada in the Ford decision of 1988 declared language of commercial expression as being included in freedom of expression. However, they also said that to legislate the "marked predominance" of French while not disallowing other languages on signs was a reasonable limit to this freedom according to section one of the Canadian Charter.

    But reasonable limits must undergo a strict test in order to pass muster. As long as we have free individuals freely acting in the marketplace -- such as M. Prefontaine -- using tools such as boycotts in order to achieve their goals, there is absolutely no need for "help" from governments in the form of legislation such as requiring French on signs. You see, the reasonable limit test requires that the freedom being infringed by legislation can only be accepted as constitutional if a means by which the freedom is less infringed is not available. What boycotts demonstrate is that the marketplace can achieve the goal pursued without the benefit of legislation. This is a means of infringing freedom of expression that is less infringing that a law requiring French on signs.

    Everyone on this forum should cheer -- loudly! -- that M. Prefontaine seeks to use the marketplace and not legislation to achieve his goals.

    The reality is that the preservation and promotion of French -- be it signs or seats in a movie theatre -- can be be achieved by individuals and not by passing laws.

    Bravo to him as he is -- although he may not be aware of it -- chiselling away at Bill 101.

  48. Reply to Jason's question;

    "Guys, this still doesn't answer my initial question. How do you sneak onto the registrars list, 2 or 3 times in a row??? Potentially both Provincially and federally?"

    Back in the day it was easy to get on the voter's list, you didn't even need ID.

    A scrutineer came around to your house and registered the householders, putting their names on the voters list.
    Nobody asked for your birth certificate or passport, I don't even think they do today (but on this last point, I'm am not sure.)

    Anyways, voting was basically a trust affair, you didn't even need to show ID at the voting booth.

    As an organizer I can tell you that there were even people who voted early and often!

    If you want to get on the list today I'm sure you can. I even bet Mickey Mouse can register without too much fuss.
    It is based on the honour system.....

    1. PS to that story above.
      I forgot to mention that the person registering the people in the household as part of the process did ask if everyone was a Canadian citizen.

      Somewhere along the line Marie Malavoy TOLD A BIG LIE which could have actually led to criminal charges.

  49. Hi Editor,
    I am afraid you are quite mistaken - I did not say several dozen, sorry, but we were a good crowd and we had the bigot take down his sign. 10 Cops were present also and stood on the side and smiled as we shamed the grumpy old anglophobe behind the window.
    Our objective well and truly accomplished - plus we only gave a day's notice: - you need to link to the speech to see that we actually spoke right in front of the man who posted the offensive sign. The dozen were the group that eventually showed up, so the photo is very early in the protest. I guess if you were actually there, and not just blogging you might know for yourself :)

    Now you want a big turnout, watch out for this Facebook group - over 500 already:
    We are going to have a Rally for the Canadian Flag at Canada Place (in spite of Marois' temporary removal) on November 4th Noon, come one, come all please :)
    Le fleur de lys est aussi bienvenue ! On ne veut pas nier le fait qu'on est dans la province de Québec, tandis que le contraire ne peut pas se dire selon l'avis des sépérateux !

    Did you not notice the Plug from Don?

    Don Macpherson
    MONTREAL - “Speak white.” The insult against French-Canadians used to be so familiar that in 1968 it became the theme and the title of a famous Québécois poem.

    We have come a long way since then. Now it’s English-speaking Montrealers who are told, less crudely but in a similar spirit, that “Au Québec c’est en français que ça se passe!” (roughly translated: “In Quebec, we do things in French!”).

    That was the message posted last week by a public employee, on public property, for users of a public service.

    It was on a sign in the window of the ticket booth of a Montreal métro station in a borough that in 2006 was 69-per-cent non-francophone.

    The Montreal transit commission interprets the language law Bill 101 as preventing it from requiring any of its employees to be able to speak English.

    But neither Bill 101 nor the Société de transport de Montréal forbids them from speaking English, either, which some do as a courtesy.

    And the STM tells its employees to use any means of communication necessary to assist users.

    The sign in the Villa Maria station, however, effectively tells, say, an elderly woman unfamiliar with the métro system to not even try asking for directions in English.

    1. @ Hugo
      This is where the nuance of communicating via written words fails.

      I never meant to suggest that you claimed that the demonstration was bigger, it was the news story that said so.

      When I said "sorry Hugo" I meant to say that I was sorry so few people showed up despite YOUR considerable effort.

      But reading my comment, I can exactly see your interpretation. Hmmm


  50. The transit user who complained about the sign was right to call it “very aggressive.”

    Like many employers, the STM has a policy of not disclosing whether it has taken disciplinary action against an employee, in order to respect the latter’s right to privacy under the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.

    But the employee who posted the sign apparently felt supported as well as justified in doing so.

    And his gesture, as well as the complaint it generated and the attention it received, are indicative of a recently heightened sensitivity about language in Montreal.

    For the past few decades, the non-violent language “wars” between French and English in Montreal have been fought in an almost ritual manner between surrogate warriors representing the opposing sides.

    Periodically, an argument over language would break out among politicians, lawyers or media commentators, while everybody else got on with their lives in peace.

    That seems to have changed in the past year.

    It began long before the recent election of the Parti Québécois government, with the return of unilingual anglophones to high places in Quebec — that is, in the executive offices of the Caisse de dépôt pension fund and behind the bench of the Montreal Canadiens.

    Already, there was growing frustration over an occasional lack of service in French in businesses in downtown Montreal.

    To some, it was as if the government — especially a Liberal government — was unable or unwilling to stop Quebec’s metropolis from sliding back toward the days of “speak white.”

    And since the return of the unilingual anglo, the language issue has been taken from the National Assembly, the courts and the media out into the streets — and the métro.

    There has been language vigilantism, with private citizens and public employees — especially those of the STM — taking enforcement of the “spirit” of the language law into their own hands.

    There has been an increase in reports in English-language media of private citizens being verbally harassed and even physically assaulted for speaking English in public, even among themselves.

    For example, some media reported a complaint by an English-rights organization called the Quebec Office of the English Language that a teenager was punched in the face for speaking English on the street with companions.

    The sign in the métro ticket booth was posted two weeks after the new PQ government was sworn in.

    Apparently, the change of government did not immediately calm language tensions — on either side.

    1. Mr. Shebbeare: I do not live in the Montreal area and am not in the greatest of health so I do not attend your protests but I want to thank you and all the citizens involved for the efforts you put forth to get our point across in this backward province. To let you know you have our gratitude and please keep up the good work.

    2. Moi aussi Hugo,j'aurais bien aimé y participer mais je serai de l'autre coté de la rue avec mon fleurde...lisée,ne pas confondre avec Jean-François...Lisée.

  51. The ironic thing about all these policies the PQ are proposing is that it would hurt the francophones the most. Many anglophones already have access to english schools and of course will speak english at home. And they have access to french instruction. These new laws will in effect make it more difficult for francophone children to learn english. So I guess my interpretation is that the PQ wants to keep the francophones limited with respect to their future..essentially handcuff them to having to stay in quebec as they wont be able to speak english well enough to work anywhere else.
    It seems that francophones should be the ones angry. Even the proposal to limit access to cegeps would again be most detrimental to fact it would be even easier for anglophone children to attend the english cegep of their again as a selfish anglophone its not such a bad move for our kids.

    1. Sorry for the above - Problems with the Blog for some reason
      To complicated: The point you are missing complicated is THEY ARE REMOVING THE RIGHTS OF THE CITIZENS IN THIS PROVINCE AGAIN - This is completely unacceptable - just heard a good line on Law and Order - in politics they do something or they do nothing - the PQ do everything they can to push the limits and our Prime Minister does nothing to stop them. This has to stop. Our rights as CANADIANS are not being protected. We have the right to be protected from these separatists and their agenda. Enough is enough and we have to let those areas leave, with their land, so the rest of us can return to a normal life within Canada, either joining another province or creating a new bilingual one. A Partition Party - 75 Federal Electoral Districts, clear question, clear majority - Supreme Court Rules - those that vote to leave - leave - without problems - and the rest of us get on with our lives in our country of Canada. This ongoing blackmail, threats, money grubbing socialist society has been creating havoc here and in the ROC for 40 years and it's time to let them go their own way! There is no other way out of the mess that the separatists have created because nothing but power and control matters to them including the well-being of their own citizens.

    2. Cutie - You are like a broken record just repeating the same sentences over and over. Partition is something that would drag on well beyond our lives in all honesty. Partition is just adding another layer of complexity to an already complex will not be resolved for years if not decades. Just imagine the time it will take to get to the point of seperation then add the time it will take to negotiate seperation and then add partition to the mix and it will never end.
      Harper is not going to defend a few hundred thousand anglos in Quebec who never vote for him. Even if they did vote for him he still likely wouldnt defend us. It would just give fresh ammunition for the seperatists to use to rile up the masses that Harper is against francophones. So we really will never have any politician actively on our best we will end up with a government a la Charest..indifference to the anglos but at least not taking away any more rights. Thats the best we can really hope for..if you cannot accept that then you better leave Quebec now or you will have a breakdown at some point.
      I dont agree with the PQ proposals but as I pointed out they really are hurting the francophones the most. Its the francophones who will be trapped here and end up going down with the sinking ship. Anglophones will be able to leave and prosper elsewhere. And immigrants also will just move elsewhere if they see no future here.