Friday, November 16, 2012

French versus English Volume 67

Entrepreneur humiliates Marois in public

A Quebec entrepreneur who won an award for excellence, unloaded on Pauline Marois who handed him his trophy.
Luc Paquet, president of Fordia a company that does business in the mining industry surprised a packed house for remarks made to Pauline Marois.

"I have three sins, he said to the Premier. I am a manufacturer,  I serve the mining industry and I make money. '
Fordia describes itself as the world leader in the manufacture of diamond tools, which are used among other things, for drilling. Its products are available in 34 countries and employs 304 people. Its headquarters is located in Dollard-des-Ormeaux.

"I expect you will cure me of my third sin," he then said, half joking. Link{fr} .

Marois who is a pro at deflecting body blows, took the criticism with a smile and soldiered on....

Sovereignty support at historic low

A new CROP poll published in La Presse indicates that in the face of a global economy, 83% of Quebecers perceive a membership benefit for Quebec to remain in Canada.  

Despite electing a sovereigntist government, 66% consider the sovereignty issue as outmoded.
More than one in two, 56% expressed agreement with the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, when he says that sovereignty awakes "old constitutional wrangling of the past." 

As for the possibility that the province eventually becomes a sovereign country, it is still a utopia dream for 67% of Quebecers, but if asked to vote in a new referendum, the sovereignty option would lose rather convincingly, 61% to 32%, or two to one against.
While the Minister of the Environment of Quebec, Daniel Breton, announced that he would prevent the Alberta oil industry from selling its oil in Quebec,
74% of Quebecers are very favourable to the idea of Western Canadian oil being sold here rather than sending it to Asia. 

Self-hating Anglo serves up the mother of all apologies

An opinion piece in the Montreal Gazette ruffled quite a few feathers as an American who has moved to Quebec City, charged the Anglophone community with being insensitive, coddled and selfish.
Read the story, it's a must;

"English is not at risk, and anglos are not an oppressed minority" Alternate link

  My favourite passages:
"Just as a man from Alabama whose father had to drink from a separate water fountain would never be expected to forget the colour of his skin, so a French-speaking Quebecer whose ancestors lived as a colonized majority cannot really be expected to forget the characteristic — language — that was used for centuries to differentiate her."

"...The root of it seems to be nostalgia for the way things used to be, before many of today’s anglophones were born, when their parents and grandparents had advantages that in retrospect can only be deemed unfair. .."
Readers, I'm going to let you do the critique in the comments section, I'm sure you'll have lots to say.
The only thing I will comment upon is this statement in order to set Mr. Lipson and the record straight.
"English is not dying in Rouyn-Noranda, but French in Moose Jaw is an assimilated mess."
Now I doubt if Mr. Lispon , the author of the article ever visited Rouyn-Noranda or knows anything of its history, because if he did he would understand that he couldn't have picked a worse example.

Rouyn-Norana was indeed the home to many Anglos and Americans who worked in the mining industry, The city of Noranda was created by the English, the name a contraction of "North" and "Canada"
The English community was well-established and quite vibrant and even had its own newspaper. In fact if you take a stroll on Ninth Ave., up towards the DAVE KEON (a native son) hockey arena, you might recognize the trappings of an old synagogue, complete with cornerstone in Hebrew and English, now converted into an apartment building.
If you look closely, you can find street names that include, Churchill, MacDonald, Murdoch, Ste. Anne and Pinder.
And contrary to your stated opinion, Mr. Lipson, English did die out in Rouyn-Noranda, you'd be hard pressed to find any vestige of the community today.

Clearly your ignorance about the city is telling, something that pervades the rest of your opinion piece.
(Okay readers, I couldn't resist)

PQ continues installing friends in high places

As I described in a post earlier this week, the PQ is in a hiring frenzy, firing highly paid civil appointments and replacing them with friendly separatists.
The Liberals hit the roof in the National Assembly in reaction to Daniel Breton, the militant ecologist Minister of the Environment's announcement that he had replaced the head of the agency that reviews environmental projects with an old friend, Pierre Baril who is similarly militant. The PQ had already fired the second in command as well and replaced him with another journalist.

All this is going to cost a pretty penny, the old president of BAPE was just given a contract extension for five years, which may have to be paid out in it entirety! Ka-ching!

Coalition avenir Québec leader François Legault, called Breton dogmatic and dangerous and accused the PQ government of politicizing the independent agency. Link

In the meantime;
"As Premier Pauline Marois was setting out an ambitious blueprint for Quebec's economy Friday, two major bond-rating agencies issued a warning over one of her election promises.
They warned that they might lower the rating of one of the province's financial cornerstones, the Caisse de depot et placement, if her government tinkered with it in a major way.
While Marois was extolling the virtues of innovation to a business luncheon, Standard & Poors's and DBRS said in reports that the status quo is just fine for the province's big pension-fund manager."  Read more
Way to go Pauline. Keep on truckin'!

Another day, another corruption revelation

When I described the ongoing saga of the revelations coming out at the Charbonneau Commission looking into corruption, I wasn't exaggerating when I said it would make a good Mafia movie.

On Thursday a contractor revealed how the Mafia intimidated him in an effort to get him to stop bidding on projects;

"Quebec's public inquiry is getting a glimpse into how the Italian Mafia used its muscle to maintain control of the construction industry in Montreal.
With death threats and intimidation, the Mob would seek to squeeze out companies when they competed for work against members of the city's construction cartel.
An out-of-town construction owner testified Thursday that he received multiple threats after bidding on contracts in Montreal.
The Quebec City man, Martin Carrier, said he got a phone call at home in 2004. His daughter answered the phone and passed it to him.
On the other end of the line was a man with a heavy Italian accent. He warned him to stop working in the city, in the first of two similar phone calls Carrier received.
Carrier asked the man for his name. That prompted a curt reply.
"Never mind who I am," the caller said. "Because the next time you won't be walking away from here...
"Thank you and have a nice day."" Read the rest of the story  Thanks Todd for the link

For those who missed my Tweet yesterday, former Mayor of Laval, Gilles Vaillancourt is the subject of a serious plot to kill him, likely by those who don't want the truth to come out about corruption in Laval.
The RCMP developed the information and deemed it credible enough to pass on to the Laval police. When the former mayor gave his resignation speech, it was obvious something was afoot with some very serious looking cops doing guard duty.
Incidentally, five days after resigning, the city of Laval cut a $250,000 cheque to the ex-mayor as his severance package.

Odds'n ends

This English sign in Quebec City had several people up in a lather LINK{Fr]

Le Droit, a French language newspaper in Ottawa devoted a whole article about the abominable situation in a Hull shopping centre where horrors of horrors an immigrant employee who could not speak French was working as a sales clerk.
Blowhard president of Impératif Français, Jean-Paul Perreault, was dutifully furious, demanding that shopping centres not rent space to stores that didn't provide French speaking staff. Link{fr}


Bilingualism will never trump merit or the ability to get along with colleagues when it comes to appointing judges to the Supreme Court, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson argues in a recently released letter.  Link

 Opposition leader Louis Harel showed a lot of class when she was questioned over the suitability of Michael Applebaum acceding to the mayoralty based on his poor French accent.
"I only wish I spoke English as well as he speaks French" was her response.

 Last week I caught a round-table discussion on LCN, the French news channel where the panel lamented over the fact that it would be a dirty rotten shame if Tony Accurso's various companies, all built on corruption, were to fall into foreign or Canadian hands in the face of Mr. Acurruso's problems with the law.
Yup, another Quebec jewel.....
Just sayin.....

And lastly I'm printing this picture of a woman interviewed on television complaining about English store names.

I'm sure she regrets giving the interview now, but I'm memorializing it for her.
I'm having a mean-spirited day, especially after reading that article by Brian Lipson.

Have a good weekend!


  1. That Lipson souphead is your standard American's knowledge of Canadian affairs: Sweet f**k-all!

    What does that American souphead know about my ancestors who came to Quebec with little more than what they could carry in suitcases when they left their Eastern European persecutors, started over, employed themselves, built their businesses and hired local Francophones? Sweet f**k-all!

    What does that American souphead know about language police who would harass smaller businesses and shopkeepers for the most minuscule of "misuses" of English (according often to their warped interpretations)? Sweet f**k-all!

    What does that American souphead know of little children who were under enormous pressure to pass "English proficiency" tests to determine if a separatist examiner playing God decides if they could go to English school (when making one slight mistake, often for reasons irrelevant to language proficiency, deprived them of that opportunity)? Sweet f**k-all!

    What does that American souphead know about how many Anglophones have left Quebec since the 1970s, creating a brain drain and an income drain that will take decades to recover, if they're lucky? Sweet f**k-all!

    What does that American souphead know about the fact the Anglophone that ARE left in Quebec still make up 40% of the tax base but only about 20% of the population? Sweet f**k-all!

    Too many Americans shoot off their mouths thinking they know it all! I wonder what Americans would think if the Hispanics, who are greater in numbers in the U.S. than people living in Canada, pushed for Spanish as an official language in the U.S.

    Lipson decided to come to Quebec to study. Good for him. Seems like he has learned French very well and is actually studying in French language universities and working for a French speaking organization. Again, good for him. Another American with that inferiority complex thinking what's good for him is good for everybody.


    1. "many Anglophones have left Quebec since the 1970s, creating a brain drain"

      Effectivement, il y a eu toute une fuite de cerveaux anglais. Seulement entre 1966 et 1986 ils ont été 220 000 à quitter le Québec. Évidemment ils étaient parmi les plus intelligents et les plus compétents.

      La communauté anglaise en paie d'ailleurs encore le prix. Les derniers résultats de l'étude internationale PISA de l'OCDE, qui mesure la performance des jeunes de 15 ans en lecture, en mathématiques et en sciences, sont à ce titre éloquents.

      Lecture - échelle globale : Québécois (522) ; minorité anglaise (520)
      Mathématiques : Québécois (544), les meilleurs au Canada ; minorité anglaise (533)
      Sciences : Québécois (525) ; minorité anglaise (521)

      L'explication est simple : pour l'essentiel se sont les meilleurs anglos qui sont partis lors du dernier exode de masse et ceux qui sont restés n'ont pas été capables de mettre au monde des enfants avec le même niveau d'intelligence de ceux qui sont partis.

      P.-S. Il est tout de même ironique que bien que nos anglos disposent d'une excellente université (McGill), ils soient intellectuellement moins aptes à y accéder que les Québécois!

    2. To be honest most of what Mr.Lipson says is true. For all the whining and gnashing of teeth here in Quebec the anglophones generally have it much better than francophones elsewhere in Canada. There are two major english universities, an english super hospital in the works and other english hospitals, english school boards, several english media stations for a relatively small english population. To argue that we are oppressed like other minorities around the world is a bit of a stretch but there is no doubt that the PQ and certain segment of the francophone population do go out of their way to antagonize the anglophone community.

      Francophones outside of Quebec pretty well have no choice but to speak english on a regular can literally live your whole life in Montreal and avoid speaking a word of french. My main beef with the PQ is their pre-occupation with the language issue and for causing more divisions between the two sides but Bill 101 in its current form is probably mostly justified..although the size of lettering irks me. As well their leftist and fiscally weak policies are more troubling as they will quickly head Quebec towards bankruptcy.

      If more anglos here could open their eyes and use logic and reason then maybe things could change for the better in Quebec. Instead because of such blinding hatred towards anyone who is seperatist or previously seperatist the anglos would rather support a totally corrupt incompetent political party that has proven over and over that it could care less about the anglophone community. Anglos continue to reward bad behaviour by electing the same bums over and over - what happens when you reward bad create a monster - someone who loses respect for you, someone who thinks they are invincible, someone who thinks they can get away with murder. Try raising a child in this way - the bankers on Wall Street have been rewarded for bad behaviour time and time again and have they changed their So all the angryphones here can only look at themselves in the mirror. There is another choice..a new party that is focused on the real issues in this province and yes its run by an ex-PQ and they are neutral but I will take that any day over more dishonesty, corruption, mismanagement and indifference towards anglophones.

    3. How about this math YL.

      Quebec Minorities = about 21% of the population of Quebec.

      % of Taxes contributed 40%

      Can you tell me also the % of Minorities on welfare aka BS compared to their % of the population.

      Quebec Government employmees less then 5% are minorities but 20% of the population.

    4. Jarry - Where did you find the information that Quebec minorities pay 40 percent of the taxes..I am not disputing it but would like to have a link where this information came from?

    5. Complicated: I first heard about this on the CTV broadcast of the Quebec election in September. Beryl Wajsman [pronounced: Wiseman], the editor of The Suburban community paper.

      As for your earlier comments re English hospitals, there is no such thing as an "English" hospital in Quebec. Medical, and most administrative personnel, must pass a French proficiency language exam in order to be licensed. Source: Reed Scowen's book, Time to Say Goodbye, and it's not as if I needed a book to disclose this. I knew about it years before that book was published.

      The all-American Souphead somehow figures little hand-written signs announcing the customer service reps in the Metro don't want to speak English or cukoo birds who scream at people in the street who don't converse in French is Anglo whining. Another opinionated blowhard American who shoots his mouth off without knowing the facts. It's OK in life to think like a moron, but don't open your mouth and prove it!

    6. I'd like to see another source confirm these numbers. Wajsman is too biased.

    7. I say he's probably baggin' a seppie and was after brownie points, simple as that. LOL

    8. Sauga - There is no doubt that there are some looney tunes working for the STM but most employees there are fine. Its just that there has been such hypersensitivity to any language related event that it gets full page coverage lately. You think that francophones in the rest of Canada havent been told to speak english or else?
      I dont see any real suffering from any of the fellow anglophones I know other than some anger at not having signs in english. Overall everywhere I go in west Montreal I get served in english. The english hospitals still are more english than french..even if the employees need to know a level of french. I dont see it a problem that personnel need to speak both only seems fair? Especially given that there is a disproportionately higher number of english institutions than the anglo population warrants.

    9. "You think that francophones in the rest of Canada havent been told to speak english or else?"

      They don't need to tell us - we speak English, or we don't get a job/higher education/services.

      But I forgot, this is a "choice" we made.

    10. "this is a "choice" we made."

      To be filed under --> "Sad" & "Self-indulgent"

    11. Complicated, you write "...there is a disproportionately higher number of English institutions than the Anglo population warrants." Upon what basis do you come to this conclusion?

      FYI, most "English" institutions (as I wrote above, "English" institutions no longer exist, they are Quebec government controlled institutions that offer English services) we founded and funded by community contributions. The Jewish General Hospital was built primarily with funding supplied by the Jewish community because none of the other hospitals prior to the JGH had any desire to offer kosher food and Jewish chaplaincy services; furthermore, where other hospitals had hiring quotas, or policies not to hire Jewish staff, the JGH did. Look on the walls of these institutions, you'll see long lists of contributors to that hospital, mostly Jewish, but not entirely as over time, the JGH developed a strong reputation for their good works. Actor Michael Douglas could have afforded to go to any hospital in the world to have his throat cancer treated. He came to the JGH and was extremely pleased with the services he received.

      In contrast, the Jewish Rehabilitation Hospital in Chomedey, Laval was also built largely because of the Jewish community, again primarily for the purposes of offering kosher food and rabbinical chaplaincy services. My late mother, MSRIP, was a one of the pioneer nurses for its first 22 years, and most of that time she was the only Jewish nurse. At least half the doctors were not Jewish either. The primary functioning language was English.

      Today, however, it's now functioning in French as the facility's needs have changed. To the best of my knowledge, the food is still kosher and rabbinical chaplaincy services are still offered, but other services are available to serve the Christian and Muslim clientele.

      The Editor of this blog has written many times about the endowments at the "English" institutions (hospitals, universities and community centers) far outweigh those of the French institutions. He has also substantiated how Francophones are not as charitable as elsewhere in Canada, even vs. Anglophones in Quebec.

      If you want to go on griping over your perceived disproportion of "English" institutions in Quebec, this is why. Too, I believe a major part of the reason for building an "English" superhospital is to attract medical professionals from outside Quebec. Even in the French universities, a lot of the study material is written in English as this is the lingua franca of the international community. I've read that 80% of research reports written in France are released in English. If not, chances are they won't get read.

    12. Well Yannick: I'm willing to bet that no matter where you went in the ROC, if you spoke in french to anyone, they would apologize to you and say "I'm sorry, I don't speak french" rather than jumping out from behind a counter and attacking you. Plus you would probably find that they would look around for someone who could speak french to you. That's the difference in manners and culture and actually being a "nice" person as 99% of Canadians are. I still don't get why you don't return to Quebec and live where you would obviously feel more comfortable than Calgary.

    13. Well Yannick: I'm willing to bet that no matter where you went in the ROC, if you spoke in french to anyone, they would apologize to you and say "I'm sorry, I don't speak french" rather than jumping out from behind a counter and attacking you.
      Probably. Then again, they probably don't have to deal with people who speak French but no English very often. I wouldn't know - I've never met a Francophone in the ROC who could not speak fluent English.

      I still don't get why you don't return to Quebec and live where you would obviously feel more comfortable than Calgary.

      I think I did not express myself clearly. I'm not trying to complain about the treatment of francophones. I'm trying to explain that comparing Francophones in the ROC to anglophones in Quebec is a false equivalency.

      Francophones in the ROC started with some services, which were taken away in the late 19th/early 20th century, and are just gradually coming back. Anglophones in Quebec have always had services, and these are gradually being taken away.

      Francophones in the ROC are expected and do live no differently than Anglophones. Mostly they make a fuss about school boards, which have recently (90's-2000's) been implemented in most provinces. Anglophones in Quebec expect to continue living in English/receive English services, and that French is simply a nice add-on. Those are two entirely different situations.

      Pointing at Francophones in the ROC and saying "there, why don't the PQ treat us as well as the ROC treats them" is a flawed argument. In most ways, francophones in the ROC behave exactly how the PQ want anglophones to behave : they work in English exclusively in their jobs, they shop in English, they go to English hospitals. The only time they speak French is to family, and at school, and even then only until university, as French universities in the ROC are practically non-existent.

      So really, you shouldn't point at us as some kind of brilliant example of good franco/anglo relations, because as is obvious from this blog you do not want to be treated like Francophones in the ROC.

      Furthermore, the "blame" for this situation (if it were to be recognized as "undesirable") is placed on the Francophones - after all, they are the ones who "choose" to work in English, accept English health services, and live in English provinces. And like you just did, if one voices an opinion, one is asked "why don't you just move to Quebec?". The PQ does this in Quebec too, by saying "take the 401". I could have answered to you, "I still don't get why you don't return to Ottawa and live where you would obviously feel more comfortable than Hull", I doubt you would think that those two statements are equivalent.

    14. So if the "choice" is not made by francophones, who is it made by? It's made by their anglophone neighbours, who don't bother to learn French. This is something that is much more prevalent in the ROC than in Quebec. For instance, 40% of all francophone Quebecers are bilingual, and I suspect that the numbers are concentrated in Montreal and Hull. In New-Brunswick, where the Francophone minority is much larger (proportionally) than the anglophone minority in Quebec, the bilingualism rate amongst Anglophones is 16%. For this reason, even though Moncton is inhabited by 33% Francophones, people use English mostly or exclusively in 90% of jobs.

      The situation where a Francophone gets into a fight with a codiac bus employee for not speaking English would never happen. The Francophone would get on the bus, be told "Sorry I don't speak French", and the Francophone would switch to English. Exactly what the PQ wants the Anglophones in Quebec to do.

      Summary : It's much easier to have harmonious linguistic relations if one group is willing to lie down - something the Francophones in the ROC do on a regular basis and something that Anglophones in Montreal do not do, or do not do to nearly the same level as Francophones in the ROC. For that reason, comparison between the two is difficult and leads to flawed arguments.

    15. One could explain to me all the reasons why Quebecers learn English and Anglophones don't learn French. I would not disagree with you. But it does nothing to resolve the problem other than imply that we should just accept to suck it and live in English, something that the Francophones in Quebec are obviously not ready to do and willing to fight a (perhaps) quixotic battle in order to resist it.

    16. You Yannick seem to resent being bilingual - why would you not consider that an asset, no matter where you reside? I find that so strange.

    17. I don't resent being bilingual. I left New Brunswick to study and work in the rest of Canada in order to see something different, and improve my English.

      I resent it when francophones' bilingualism is used as a justification for not attempting to provide them with services. I think this is something that anglophones in Quebec can relate to.

    18. At least the ROC is attempting to correct that situation but you keep standing up for the seppies and they are doing everything they can to stop providing services to anglophones - why are you not on the side that is, at least, trying to remedy things?

  2. Well said Mr. Sauga, as usual. What I don't get is why the newspapers give space to these interlopers that know nothing about what has gone on nor what goes on in our every day life here in this province. Space should be allotted to those who live this nightmare.

    1. Cutie, my guess is that with a dwindling English speaking population, the Gazette has to do whatever it can to survive, and this in part means attracting the French speaking community. When Conrad Black owned the Gazette, it was that rag's last gasp at credibility as Black took feisty swipes at Quebec's fascism. (Still does).

      When the late Izzy Asper and his Canwest media empire took over from Black, he was hellbent on attracting a Francophone clientele, and so that was the death knell. While the Gazette was always #2 (literally) when the Montreal Star was around, it has been deteriorating with the loss of the many good journalists who used to work for the Gazette. Red Fisher, Josh Freedman and Mordechai Richler were three of the best. Any articles I read in the Gazette these days make me sick with the incredibly substandard grammar it now contains. I put it on a par with other rags like the National Enquirer. Pathetic!

    2. Actually MR Sauga,

      The way the Gazette sees it, the minority readers have no choice and have to read the Gazette as a monopoly. Alot like the Quebec Libs who get over 90% of the minority vote. So more then the dwindling the Gazette can do whatever it likes. Now with the internet and alternative media you are see more articles in the Gazette that are actually going after the PQ and their like minded orgs.

    3. Yes, Mr. Sauga - my town paper has the same problem. After speaking with the Editor, I think he feels he's caught between a rock and a hard place. Trying to please both sides in this on-going debate is very difficult for these people. They can't seem too biased by either side or they lose their advertisers. Can't blame them for being cautious - it's their livelihood.

  3. And I wish someone would stuff a potato into the mouth of that Perrault - he is absolutely the worst militant - hear he is married to an anglophone also; what a lovely match that must be! Wonder why the separatists like him so much - you would think that he would be considered a traitor to their cause.

    1. Cutie, think of the Perraults of this world as the Franco version of Howard Stern. Anglo bashing has an audience and he's just appealing to it. When the PQ first governed in the mid 1970s to the mid 80s, their favourite pastime was fed bashing. Click on the following link and go to Howard Galganov's website. On that blog, you'll see endless Obama bashing. Galganov used to write mostly about Quebec injustices, but he attracts a large market in the U.S. and has switched to mostly writing about U.S. affairs, esp. against Obama, as the Americans monetarily support his blog more than Canadians ever did. The U.S.A. is now his primary market. He only occasionally discusses Canadian affairs.

    2. I guess the old "follow the money" works in most instances. Perrault lives here in Gatineau and is raising shit all the time in either the local papers or at City Hall. We never used to have any of this friction between the french and english but unfortunately he has his nose in everything here. I wish he lived somewhere else, perhaps Quebec City, just to keep him out of our hair because he does create a bad environment. Again, frustrating that I can't do anything about it.

  4. Hilarious!

    The Journal de Quebec removed all the comments in the AC/DC article...given that all of the comments essentially told the writer what loser he is. Guess they love putting it out there so long as they fetch the desired result.

    You've been...Thunderstruck bitches!!

  5. Editor,

    It was a nice surprise to read "opposition leader Louis Harel showed a lot of class when she was questioned over the suitability of Michael Applebaum (...)"

    And this just a few days after you wrote : "Mr. Boisclair is experienced and has always conducted himself honourably and respectfully in public. I never heard him utter a negative word towards the English or minorities. When Mr. Boisclair assures us that he is going to New York to promote Quebec and not sovereignty, I take him at his word."

    And it reminds of the time when you wrote : "Parizeau was not the racist he is made out to be, his personal life and political record tells a different story and readers, who of us, in a moment of EXTREME disappointment hasn't said something we regret, something that we didn't really believe." I really appriciated this one, so I bookmarked it.

    And then, there was this time when you wrote : " (...) Mr. Falardeau, who in spite of his Anglophobia, was a likeable and talented artist, with a rakish sense of humour and an impish smile (...)"

    These comments of yours went unnoticed, so I thought that I should just say thank you, it was nice.

  6. About this new CROP La Presse poll.

    Question #3 asks to rank nine priorities. 0% of respondants think that national unity is a priority...

    Those interested in hearing both sides of a story might be interested in reading Lisée's comments on the survey.

    I know what you all think of Lisée, yet his comments are interesting, especially those about the questions that no longer appear in this new poll.

    1. I wonder what percent of the population think that a continued flow of federal transfer payments is a priority. Although it too, should be 0%, I bet it's more like 100%. When you ask the ignorant what they think, you get ignorant opinions.

    2. Diogenes,

      Separatists argue that Québec should no longer receive any transfert payments.

      The transfert payments seem to be the last argument of federalists. It is a tricky argument. If we get more federal money than we send, some will argue that it is because the federal system doesn't play in our favor. And the day that we will send more money than we get, what will we say? Nothing. We will be gone.

      The transfert payment program is to be revised in 2014 I believe. I am looking forward to this day. The centrifugal forces tearing the canadian federation apart will be more acutely obvious than ever I believe.

      A man keeps reminding a woman that he pays for everything. He doesn't have much more arguments than that, he is not gentle to her, he doesn't make her laugh, he doesn't care for her anymore, they have no interest in common, the have no common goal. Out of frustration, he keeps humiliating her. He doesn't have much to show for. But he pays for everything and he keeps reminding her that she could not make it on her own. And he is frustrated that she doesn't love him and he thinks that she is ungrateful.

    3. MP


      Excellent commentaire,comme toujours.

    4. “A man keeps reminding a woman that he pays for everything. He doesn't have much more arguments than that, he is not gentle to her, he doesn't make her laugh, he doesn't care for her anymore, they have no interest in common, the have no common goal. Out of frustration, he keeps humiliating her. He doesn't have much to show for. But he pays for everything and he keeps reminding her that she could not make it on her own. And he is frustrated that she doesn't love him and he thinks that she is ungrateful.”

      Oh so we’re using dating analogies.

      Alright cool…here goes:

      If we’re referring to French, no man would ever force a woman to love him if he ever expects GENUINE love and respect from her.

      “Out of frustration, he keeps humiliating her.”

      Oh shit – too easy! I think I’ll leave that part of the analogy out for others to throw a few examples in.

      “He doesn't have much to show for.”

      In another thread I pointed out that the Feds ran eight winning budgets at a time when Quebec was running on fumes, which is the say, what do you have to offer the ROC, who made your deficit-mooching possible?

      “But he pays for everything and he keeps reminding her that she could not make it on her own.”

      Ever see the video in which Parizeau slags Indians and tries to point out what Quebec does for them?

      Oh and one more thing Michel – stop using pretentious English words no Anglo would ever use – especially when their meaning escapes you.

      Oh and using $50 words does nothing to polish your backwards 30-cent views on the role of separatists in Quebec/Canadian society.

      I guess there's one upshot to your post - you give S.R an opnion he can't formulate himself.

    5. LordDorchester

      Separatists are becoming increasingly irrelevant and quite frankly, boring, much like the Republican Party in America which is relegating itself as the party of angry White men from the Deep South. With the new three party dynamic in Quebec politics the days of a PQ ever achieving majority status are on thin ice to put it mildly. Their policies are passé and from what we are witnessing in Quebec City, they are clueless and woefully incompetent (not helping their cause). We have a laughing stock as a finance Minister, arguably one of the most important cabinet portfolios of ANY government and his colleagues aren't fairing much better either.
      The PQ, like the GOP has failed miserably in conveying why it matters to new immigrants and to ethnic Quebecers, whom do not share the same grievances and animosity to the rest of Canada. Immigrants are more likely to infact have relatives and connections living in other parts of Canada than Québécois people do. Why would they vote to restrict their mobility interests and that of their children? Any new projected growth in Canada is going to happen west of the Manitoba-Ontario border. As time marches on and their numbers wane they, much like the Dodo bird will become a footnote in the dustbin of history. The reason, a failure to adapt to the new realities of the World around them. Time to refocus.

    6. +1 Lord Dorchester

      "...will become a footnote in the dustbin of history. The reason, a failure to adapt to the new realities of the World around them."

    7. Resident evil,

      Francophones will often use what seems to you like 50$ words. For instance, I will use "cecity" instead of "blindness" because it is a direct translation of french "cécité" which is common in french.

      I am packing and leaving for the weekend, so I will not be able to pursue (direct translation of "poursuivre", no intention of being pretentious...) this discussion. Just one note, "and he keeps insulting her" would have been a better phrasing. And your reply is a good example of insulting out of frustration.

      Have a nice weekend.

    8. "Separatists argue that Québec should no longer receive any transfert payments."

      Really, can you point me to a separatist who says this? And by this, I mean someone with the power to actually refuse equalization payments, not the various intellectuals, academics and artists who would not be directly affected by any cuts in the payments.

      "And the day that we will send more money than we get, what will we say? Nothing. We will be gone."

      Yes, let's fleece Canada until it has no more to give and then leave. Except, that it's not like we're closing the gap with the Canadian average. These payments will continue. The formulas will be tweaked in 2014 and we might start to get less money, but it will still be more than we send to the feds.

    9. Great news, Michel's going to leave us in peace for at least two days.

      I tell you...for a guy who claims to not want to appear pretentious, he sure comes across that way at least 90% of the time.

      Anyways looks like we blew a hole in his argument, because each time that happens his retorts have a little more vinegar in them than usual.

    10. "The centrifugal forces tearing the canadian federation apart"

      Big words for such a small man.

    11. Michel, your analogy made Quebec look like a whore. Was that on purpose?

    12. ... and it made Canada look like the man who pathetically has to pay, in vain, to be loved.

    13. ...and it made Canada look like the man who pathetically has to pay, in vain, to be loved.

    14. Willing to bet he doesn't leave the province?

    15. Looks like Michel's lost the plot.

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

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    18. Michel,
      if that's your best comeback, I'd suggest you lay low for a while and hope people will forget you had Qc as the whore in a relationship.

      Just saying'.

    19. I feel embarrassed for Michel's kids. Man, would I ever hate having that kind of an example for a father...

      ...I mean honestly, THAT is your template for how to turn out and develop into and this is the best you get?

      --> To be filed under "Damn!"

    20. Insults, insults, more insults.

      Too hard to respond to his post in an intelligent way huh? Ad Hominems are so much easier.

    21. You can tell when Michel's written something that challenges one's understanding of the situation as "Anglos good, seppies bad" - the immediate reaction is anger and lash-back.

    22. And you're our eternal "intellectually transgendered" contributor.

      No idea where you're heading...even less of an idea who you are or what you're about.

      History and political progress was never made by ambivalent wallflowers.

      I really do feel sorry for anyone who perceives Michel's "contributions" as avant-garde or progressive.

      Honestly Yannick, I've never seen you contribute any ideas that would change the course of this ongoing argument in the least.

      Will that ever change?

      Not holding my breath.

    23. More insults.

      Show me good. Make me seem inferior. Feel better about yourself. What will you have accomplished?

    24. Resident Evil to all seppies including YannickFriday, November 16, 2012 at 8:06:00 PM EST

      "What will you have accomplished?"

      Until ambivalent ticket-buyers like yourself understand that this conflict takes a rock-solid stance, politically-incorrect approaches and no excuses for "sensitive, understanding approaches"...nothing.

      Though I believe Patrice, yourself, S.R and YL have every right to voice your opinions, I also believe that at one point, in the name of collective forward momentum...

      ...and as a reward to the progressive-minded class, we should just stop pandering to this the 13-year-old-in-drama-class melodramatic horseshit that characterizes the seppie movement and crush it altogether.

      I used to work in a homeless shelter. So many kids coming through there had stories that would break your heart. We're talking parents that subjected them to physical/sexual abuse, chronic welfare dependence, alcoholism/drug abuse and on and on...

      But you know what? They were actually the MINORITY.

      The majority of kids coming through there came from middle class to upper middle class families and they merely wanted to do whatever they felt like and just wanted to defy their folks.

      Who paid for this?


      These kids didn't want to get up before 10, didn't want jobs, didn't want to take responsibility, would complain about the free food provided by the shelter.

      And yet, the shelter kept taking care of them.

      Those who truly wanted change, did it. They'd rebuild their lives and prosper.

      And you know what?

      Eventually, when the shelter felt some of the "rich kids tourists" wouldn't go forward they kicked them out and instituted life time bans on them.

      With nowhere to go but the streets, they returned home...and fell into line.

      The point?

      Sometimes you have to throw the bad apples to the wolves.

      Those who aren't bad apples will find their way.

      But here's the thing - the first step to stop being a bad apple... to realize that you are in fact a very rotten apple.

      In the end it's up to seppies to realize that by subscribing to the sovereignist option, they're automatically becoming detractors, a problem.

      So Yannick, time to stop feeding the pigeons (ground-feeder seppies) and time to start feeding the wolves (Franco/Anglo progressives).

    25. Rien de pire qu'un travailleur social pour comparer les choux et les carottes.

    26. "... and it made Canada look like the man who pathetically has to pay, in vain, to be loved"
      Michel I think you're confusing Canada with a "john" who has to pay for "love" when a more apt analogy would be a long-suffering husband who works his butt off every day to come home to a harpy wife who has sat on the couch all day smoking and reading trashy magazines, only to complain that he doesn't bring home enough money. I don't think that the ROC wants "love" so much as we just want peace and quiet: an end to the whining and complaining. If gratitude is too much to ask for, we'll settle for silence. And, by the way, if Canada "pathetically has to pay, in vain", it sure isn't for love but out of obligations arising from the whole transfer payment agreement. But you're right about two things: it's pathetic and, like any whore, if Quebec ever got enough money, it would be gone.

    27. TS and Diogenes you are wrong about Quebec being like a whore. If Quebec was like a whore, it would provide request agreed upon honest payment for a service rendered.

      I guess Canada would be more better off if Quebec was more like a "friend with benefits" then a goldigger lifetime alimony seeking "wife".

    28. Good point Jarry about the "friend with benefits". That would be a big improvement from the current "pain in the ass with no benefits".

    29. @ Res Evil,
      I always enjoy reading your posts, you’re contributions are always so eloquent and intelligent. Here’s the thing, just as an FYI, Yan has to still figure out who he is and until he resolves that existential question, we’re in for more of his “sitting on the fence” comments. This is not an insult, it just an observation as to the state of affairs where he’s concerned. At the end of the day, the cloud of indecision he operates under works for me, I would much rather have him sitting on the fence than on the other side.

      Secondly, though everything you have stated is completely true, it will always be misconstrued and ill- received and why? Because someone like you is delivering the message. You are not a seppie or a seppie sympathizer so you are Xed right at the start. THEY will never accept the message or the messenger. Anything WE ever say, though valuable and insightful, will never be considered by them, much less accepted, regardless if it is the truth.

      S.R and company are wrought with emotion and see all arguments in that light. It will never improve until they are in a hole so deep and dark and even then, most would rather just perish than survive because surviving will mean coming to terms with the fact that everything they have ever believed is completely false and those who have fed them Lies were really never on their side.

      Finally, as I have said and I keep reiterating, survival depends on Options and ensuring that you grab as many for yourself as you can. This is how we survive and go forward, this is also what drives them absolutely crazy. BUT let’s keep bringing the horse to water; we owe that to ourselves anyway, to keep aiming for the light at the end of the tunnel: whether or not the horse drinks should be of absolutely no consequence to us, in the end, more water for us.

    30. Resident Evil : You want to take a stand. That's very noble of you, but allow me to do some fence-sitting here. You are entirely ignoring a very astute point from Michel. Namely, that equalization payments are essentially the only argument that Federalists have in favour of voting "No". All federalist arguments revolve around matters of practicality, convenience, and money. Federalists appeal to Quebecer's greed/security to keep them in Canada. There is no sentimental attachment, as evidenced by the 69% who want to eventually see an independent Quebec, but don't believe that it is currently feasible.

      Up until now, the referenda have been defeated mostly by economical arguments - Quebec can't make it on its own, we'll take away your pensions, you won't be able to trade with us, we'll take the North Shore, etc...

      This is a bad tactic to use. Or rather, it is a short-sighted one. You win this referendum, but at the cost of establishing that Quebec is in the Confederation against her will, only out of expedience.

      If you don't like the dating analogy, how about this one? Quebec is a financially-struggling young man living in his mother's basement. His mother does not want to let Quebec leave, and her best and only argument is that while he stays there, he does not have to pay rent and he gets an allowance. Quebec is conflicted, but faced between living in a slum and having a more comfortable existence, chooses the latter.

      What happens when the rent and the allowance are taken away? There is then no longer any financial incentive to stay. So why not move out?

      And I'll point out to you that while the poll pointed out that only 30% would vote yes on a referendum, 69% hold a dream of seeing an independent Quebec.

      So you want to crush the separatist government - sure! But if you want to do that by attacking equalization payments, you will achieve exactly the opposite. Insulting Michel for pointing this out is not "taking a stand", it's just plain rude and blind.

      Better would be to try and create an emotional attachment between Quebec and Canada. This was the strategy taken by the feds ever since trudeau, but Harper has given up on it. This may eventually have dire consequences.

    31. Yannick - as long as there is no cooperation from quebec with ANYTHING the ROC proposes, we will never, ever have any emotional attachment with these people. If they learned that cooperation and effort would enhance the lifestyle of all Canadians, including themselves, we would have a hope of overcoming some of the problems we face but not with the attitude they take towards anything Canadian, such as insulting the flag and the English language on every occasion that they get. How do you think the ROC would feel any emotion with these blatant, disrespectful, nasty people. Come another referendum there will be no more love-ins and the ROC will cheer the fact that they vote to leave. That's why we have to fight for partition and let those go that want to go. It's past time. They deserve to be cut loose and let them make it on their own = no coming back either - a hard choice but no going back. Let's ALL end the misery.

    32. I was talking about the emotional attachment of Francophone Quebecers with Canada, not the other way around.

    33. The seppies have made it very clear they only care about themselves, their future, their way of life, and want to do it all on the ROCs money. There is no emotion except selfishness in their thinking.

    34. The 'seppies' are a minority even amongst Francophones, though. Only 40% of the francophone vote went to the PQ.

      The problem is that the other 60% is not necessarily enthusiastic about being Canadian citizens, and might be federalists more out of practicality than because of their convictions.

      I believe this is the result of most federalist arguments being centered around convenience and economy and that it may eventually benefit the Separatists in the long run.

    35. Frankly I'm sick and tired of the ROC sucking up to quebec. We have done too much of that for far too long - there is no satisfying the seppies - they will always blood suck to the max and it has to end sometime. I hope now is the time. While driving to pick up a friend this afternoon at a park and ride, I entered an area that I wasn't sure was for cars and low and behold I look up to see what the sign says and there it is in french only which I was unable to decipher with my limited french. Say what you like but this has just proven to me that we are now endangering lives with these ridiculous petty complaints against english and it is becoming dangerous. Road signs MUST BE BILINGUAL - it's bad enough that they expect every anglophone in quebec to learn french, but now we're insisting that every one in North America learn french to even visit this place. This is just f------ great for our tourist industry - let's throw more money away - God, these people make me sick. I've truly had it up to my ears. Time they leave our great country!

    36. No women would date a retarded child like Quebec

    37. «...a more apt analogy would be a long-suffering husband who works his butt off every day to come home to a harpy wife...»

      And this long-suffering husband comes home, he reminds her that he works hard and that she is ungrateful. He doesn’t want her love, he « just want peace and quiet: an end to the whining and complaining.» He reminds her that it is his house too.

      And she reminds him that he wasn’t invited in this house in the first place. He is pissed off, and he blames her for living in the past and for bringing up this old story again and again.

      He reminds her that she was poor and that he brought her economic developement. «What have you contributed, so far, you bitch?» he asks.

      She reminds him that he did not die of cold and scorbus during this first 1759 winter because he settle in the warm and confortable house that her family built before he came. And she reminds him that in 1840, she contributed to repay the debts he had contracted to develop his business in Ontario. He blames her again for living in the past. There are truths that he doesn’t like to be told.

      He is mad.

      «- If you were not the whore that you are, you would refuse to take my money» he yells.

      - If you keep your money, she asks, will I still have to give you half of my income?»

      He is mad and he insults her. But she doesn’t care, she has been over what he thinks of her for years...

    38. Yannick,

      Les analogies ont toujours leur limite. Je n’aime pas l’analogie du jeune homme qui habite encore chez ses parents car l’enfant est apparu après les parents et il est leur création. Or nous venons d’avant, nous sommes antérieurs au Canada anglais, il y avait ici déjà la conscience d’être un peuple en soi avant même la Conquête.

  7. Sad...





    At a time when the economy is ashes, the health system is crumbling, Montreal's infrastructure is going to be ignored for another few year and the Quebec taxpayer is drowning in a sea of taxes...

    ...this is the best the seppie camp can come up with:

    "Le PQ exige le retrait du drapeau canadien à l'Assemblée nationale"

    Anyone who supports this truly is mentally limited in every way.

    1. Why don't you seppies just refuse to take the money? Simple. Then everyone in Canada would be happy.

    2. As a result, Quebecers are planning to mail her boxes of Maple Leaf biscuits on Nov. 22nd… héhé!

    3. Maple Leaf cookies give her a headache! :)

    4. "Why don't you seppies just refuse to take the money? Simple. Then everyone in Canada would be happy."

      The separatists have to cast themselves in the role of the reasonable people who are snubbed by Canada. If they refuse the money, the electorate will just shout "why didn't you take it? this is your fault!"

      No, the money has to be refused to them so they can turn around and say "look! we are being treated badly! let's leave."

    5. Baloney - all they have to do is refuse the money and tell their devoted voters: "see, told you we don't need Canada to help support us; we can survive without them" - they take it because their greedy bastards and want to piss off the ROC, which it does. The ROC has to cut them loose = they bleed everyone and everything dry.

    6. Except they want to be able to spend lots of money in the province to show what good statesmen they are, and how well Quebec would do if they seperated. Hard to do that if you're saying no to 16 billion dollars a year.

    7. They spend money on what are considered "Canadian" projects - just to remind quebec that they don't own everything as they claim they do. The Federal Government has a responsibility to keep it's own buildings and projects, that are federally funded, up to snuff. If and when quebec leave confederation, the federal government will also have a right and an obligation to retain its own assets. Quebec thinks they will walk off with everything but they are mistaken - this is when the rubber hits the road in this stinking place and partition, along with federal property and buildings will be kept by the ROC - as well they should be as they've been paid for by the taxes provided by all Canadians. If quebec want these assets, they should be paying for them now - bet we'll never see that! They don't even have the money to pay their welfare bums as we can see by the clock that keeps time on the deficit. Another way to get rid of the anglophones, as they wish to do, is to reduce taxes and let people save up enough money to leave this place behind. Their devoted voters will never leave so this is a way to get rid of the rest of us. Right now we are all paying so much tax we can never save up enough to go and, as the land we own is worth less everyday, it's a hole we'll never get out of. So seppies, get back to work, lower the taxes and the anglophones and allophones will be able to kiss you all off - that's what you want - do it the proper way!

  8. I am reading on my iPhone so the picture is not that clear. But what happens to the woman in Radio-Canada screen shot?

    1. I don't know but I'm curious if she does her errands with bedhead or if her hair is actually matted like that...

    2. Reminds me of that "There's Something About Mary".

  9. "Le PQ exige le retrait du drapeau canadien à l'Assemblée nationale"

    Excellente initiative de notre parti.Fini la provocation!

    1. Translation:

    2. Everything provokes you people. Anything not pur laine provokes you. So easy to do on a day to day basis.

    3. Cutie, you keep telling people not to respond to S.R., and yet you obviously read whatever he posts and you let it push all your buttons. Physician, heal thyself :)

    4. Sorry - depends on how high my blood pressure gets :)

  10. People like Brian Lipson mean well, but their ignorance gets in the way. His way of thinking is similar to that of Christopher Hall. If you listen to the speech Hall gave during the celebrations of bill 101's 30th anniversary in 2007 (, he mentions how his father refused to sign an anti-bill 101 petition back in 1977 (his reason: the "French fact" has the right to "affirm itself"), and then mentions how his father founded a French school in Saskatoon. There is a kind of fallacy in this way of thinking, one that transplants a context-specific phenomenon into an irrelevant context, i.e. French might be in trouble in SK or NB, but it doesn't mean it is in trouble in QC or France. In Saskatoon, French might have needed all the help in the world, but in Quebec it was the bully language, aggressively and arrogantly sweeping aside everything in its way with the help of a bully state. So Hall commits this fallacy by generalizing the plight of francophones, forgetting that in some regions it's the francophones from whom people need protection. It's a little bit like with the Jewish people: the antisemitism they are subjected to outside Israel is reprehensible, but equally reprehensible is their zionism in Israel.

    Lipson commits the same error as Hall. He betrays his guilt, typical of many southern whites (and understandable too), of the treatment of the blacks in the south, and he wants to make up for it by promoting another "oppressed" minority, except he picks the wrong place and the wrong time for it. (If he chose Ontario or Manitoba, it might have been a different thing.) It's as if Lipson went to a fictional breakaway state set up by the Black Panthers, where whites are now mistreated, and saying that he supports the regime because of the past injustices committed against the blacks. The past injustices were absolutely horrendous and absolutely true, but there is also an equally important phenomenon of the oppressed becoming oppressors.

    1. Adski, why don't you try and resist your darker impulses and refrain from mentioning "the Jewish people" and "their zionism" as is your practice from time to time?

    2. Touchy about that subject are we? When he oppressed are the oppressors here in Canada they are fascists, but Israel is fighting the good fight in Gaza.

    3. Yannick,
      I expected nothing less from you given that you stated that you would criticize persons who made false statement about Nazis. Touchy? Damned right since some of my relatives were exterminated by the Nazis.
      You, who has never been to Israel, and has probably never had a Jewish friend or had a conversation with a Jewish person, is quick to inject some remark about zionism when it is utterly irrelevant to this blog.Out of all the countries in the world, you just happen to mention Israel. Time to look deep within yourself.
      As for the inference one must draw from your reference to the "good fight", the oppressors of persons in Gaza is Hamas. From Wickipedia:

      "Islamization of the Gaza Strip refers to the efforts to impose Islamic laws and traditions in the Gaza Strip. The influence of Islamic groups in the Gaza Strip has grown since the 1980s. The efforts to impose Islamic law and traditions continued when Hamas forcefully seized control of the area in June 2007 after being elected into power by the Palestinian people and displaced security forces loyal to the secular President Mahmoud Abbas. After the civil war ended, Hamas declared the “end of secularism and heresy in the Gaza Strip.” For the first time since the Sudanese coup of 1989 that brought Omar al-Bashir to power, a Muslim Brotherhood group ruled a significant geographic territory. Gaza human rights groups accuse Hamas of restricting many freedoms in the course of these attempts.

      Ismael Haniyeh officially denied accusations that Hamas intended to establish an Islamic emirate. However, Jonathan Schanzer writes that in the two years since the 2007 coup, the Gaza Strip has exhibited the characteristics of Talibanization, a process whereby the Hamas government has imposed strict rules on women, discouraged activities commonly associated with Western or Christian culture, oppressed non-Muslim minorities, imposed sharia law, and deployed religious police to enforce these laws.

      According to a Human Rights Watch researcher, the Hamas-controlled government of Gaza stepped up its efforts to "Islamize" Gaza in 2010, efforts that included the "repression" of civil society and "severe violations of personal freedom." Israeli journalist, Khaled Abu Toameh, wrote in 2009 that "Hamas is gradually turning the Gaza Strip into a Taliban-style Islamic entity". According to Mkhaimar Abusada, a political science professor at Gaza's al-Azhar University, "Ruling by itself, Hamas can stamp its ideas on everyone (...) Islamizing society has always been part of Hamas strategy."

    4. Israel is the only Western country I know of other than the USA who routinely bomb their neighbours, that's why I single them out. I resent that you imply I am an anti-Semite.

      I'm not sure what to make of the second half of your message. It's quite noble of you to be concerned about the status of women in the Gaza strip, but carpet-bombing them is unlikely to improve their condition.

    5. You're right - I've never had a Jewish friend, or had a conversation with a Jewish person. As far as I know, I've never met a Jewish person. There are close to none in New-Brunswick. I assume some of the people I've talked to in Ontario and Alberta might have been Jewish, but I wouldn't know - they never brought it up.

      The first time I learned Jews existed was in middle school, and then they were only "those people the Nazis killed". We read Night by Ellie Wiesel and The Merchant of Venice in high school, and I watched Ben Hur at some point.

      It's almost impossible to develop anti-semitism in New-Brunswick, because Jewish people only exist in the abstract there. They are an idea more than a living, breathing people. One might as well discriminate against people from Zimbabwe.

      My history of my dislike for the secular, western, democracy of Israel dates back to when I was involved with social justice groups in high school/university and watched documentaries showing how Palestinians are treated. The recurrent bombings/assassinations heavy in civilian casualties since then have done little to change my opinion.

    6. Point in case - according to the 2001 census, there were 670 Jewish people living in New Brunswick, and about 245 living in Moncton, a city of more than a hundred thousand people. Hard to meet one.

    7. I strongly condemn Israel for their savage interception of peaceful Palestinian rockets.

    8. Yannick,

      The U.S. routinely bombs its neighbours"? Which ones? Canada and Mexico?

      Why are you criticizing Israel for bombing Gaza? Are you some myopic naif or perhaps something else? The Hamas charter calls for the murder of all Jews, not just Israelis. Moreover, when people specifically state that they intend to kill Jews, they are to be believed. In January 2006 Gaza's electorate brought Hamas to power.The people in Gaza knew that Hamas called for the murder of all Jews, and they knew that Hamas rejected any binding peace treaty with Israel.

      Over the past month, more than a hundred rockets and missiles were fired from Gaza into towns and cities in southern Israel (more than 800 rockets and missiles have been fired at Israel in 2012, each and every such firing constituting a war crime). In addition, an anti-tank missile was fired across the border at an Israeli jeep, injuring four soldiers, and prior to that, an explosion along the border fence had cost an Israeli officer his hand. What country would tolerate having its civilan population bombed from a neighbouring territory and for how long?

      On November 13th, Israel began Operation Pillar of Defense by killing Achmad Jabari from the air. Jabari was the functional head of Hamas's military wing and had been responsible for the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit. Next, Israel destroyed Hamas's hidden arsenal of Fajr missiles from Iran, never used, but capable of hitting Tel Aviv. The elimination of this threat was a major Israeli intelligence coup, even more so than the assassination of Jabari. Overnight, the Israeli air force and navy continued to strike missile arsenals, and a vastly improved Israeli Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepted some 80 rockets and missiles fired at Ashdod, Beersheva and other Israeli cities.

      In terms of strategic success, Israel has been facing a three-front war involving the threat of missiles from Gaza, Lebanon and Iran. Had hostilities begun involving Hezbollah in Lebanon and/or Iran, Hamas would have let fly its Fajrs at Tel Aviv. However, given the difficulty posed to Hamas of replenishing this "treasured" arsenal, Israel has neutralized, at least for the medium-term, this headache.

      I challenge you to cite a single instance of Israel bombing its neighbours without a valid reason of self defence.

      "Carpet-bombing its neighbours"? Where do you get this lie from? Israel engages in intelligence-driven precision strikes. Civilian casualties are regrettable but unavoidable because the terrorist infrastructure is embedded inside the population.
      Hamas makes no distinction between its terrorist military machine and the government structure. It consistently uses so-called civilian facilities, such as hospitals and mosques, for the purposes of hiding its terrorist military machine, including weapons.


    9. Yannick, Part 2

      As for your comment that it is almost impossible to develop anti-semitism in New Brunswick because Jewish people exist only in the abstract there, there is a phenomenon known as "anti-semitism without Jews". Google the term and learn more about it. Below is an article written by Robert Fulford about it recently in the National Post:

      "In Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, politicians and civil servants devote a surprising amount of time to thinking about Israel, 7,612 km away. Sometimes they appear to be obsessed by it. Malaysia has never had a dispute with Israel, but the government encourages the citizens to hate Israel and also to hate Jews whether they are Israelis or not.

      Few Malaysians have laid eyes on a Jew; the tiny Jewish community emigrated decades ago. Nevertheless, Malaysia has become an example of a phenomenon called “Anti-Semitism without Jews.” Last March, for instance, the Federal Territory Islamic Affairs Department sent out an official sermon to be read in all mosques, stating that “Muslims must understand Jews are the main enemy to Muslims as proven by their egotistical behaviour and murders performed by them.” About 60% of Malaysians are Muslim.

      In Kuala Lumpur, it’s routine to blame the Jews for everything from economic failures to the bad press Malaysia gets in foreign (“Jewish-owned”) newspapers.

      The leaders of the country assume that Jews and Israelis deserve to be humiliated as often as possible. In 1984, the New York Philharmonic cancelled a visit because the Malaysian information minister demanded that a composition by Ernest Bloch, an American Jewish composer who died in 1959, be eliminated from their program. In 1992, an Israeli football player with the Liverpool team was refused permission to play in Malaysia; the team cancelled the visit. The government banned Schindler’s List, calling it anti-German and pro-Jewish propaganda. The same government later decided it could be shown if seven scenes were cut. Steven Spielberg refused, so the government removed all his films from Malaysia’s screens.

      In 2003, the prime minister’s political party gave delegates to the United Malays National Organization copies of Henry Ford’s anti-Semitic book from the 1920s, The International Jew, a favourite of Hitler, translated into Bahasa Malay.

      For half a century, Israel has tried to establish diplomatic relations, but Kuala Lumpur has always replied that Muslim opinion makes that politically impossible. Instead, Malaysia has joined the Arab campaign to defame Israel. Trade with Israel is officially banned — but goes on nevertheless, through covert arrangements with third countries. (Sales of products from Israel’s Intel computer chip factory to Malaysia amount to many millions of dollars a year. Malaysian policy softens temporarily when confronted with certain products at the right price.)

    10. Yannick, Part 3

      "It’s only when we grasp the unremitting and mindless hostility of countries such as Malaysia that we begin to understand the pain and difficulty of Israel’s place in the world. This is the context in which we should think about the Harper government’s pro-Israel policy. Israel faces automatic enmity from all the Arab nations, most other Muslim-dominated states and the many organizations in democratic countries that dedicate themselves to showering abuse on Israel (and no one else) in the name of human rights.

      Except during civil wars, no other state, not even the worst dictatorship, not even Iran or China, is so badly and so often maligned. Now only Canada and the United States (in certain moods) give Israel the benefit of the doubt.

      Yet many Canadians apparently believe that there is something unfair in this situation, not in the invective heaped on Israel but in Canada’s habit of friendship with the only democracy in the Middle East. It’s argued that this policy has done harm to Canada. Jeffrey Simpson of The Globe and Mail says that because of our attitude to Israel, “Canada’s reputation in the Arab world is mud.” Tony Burman, of the Toronto Star, former head of Al Jazeera English, and now a journalism teacher at Ryerson University, says that our government’s “passionate pro-Israeli stance” has damaged Canada’s reputation throughout the Middle East “after decades of being one of the world’s respected ‘honest brokers’ on Mideast issues.”

      That phrase “honest broker” seems to me one of the most dubious of Canadian clichés. I have not once in several decades seen it applied to us by a citizen of some other country. In my experience, it’s one of those compliments many Canadians, and only Canadians, pay to Canada. Burman expresses nostalgia for an attribute that hasn’t existed, so far as I’m aware, since the 1950s.

      Simpson says the Harper government’s policy is based on a simple-minded black-and-white view, on the evangelical Christian streak among Conservatives, on the idea that Israel is a democracy and Arab countries are not and on a hope of prying Canadian Jews away from the Liberals.

      Or, just possibly, there might be another reason: Because it’s the right thing to do."

    11. Yannick: How many rockets should be fired into Israel before Israel retaliates? One? A dozen? 100? 10,000? 10 million? Oh, and after being fired upon, the British PM tells Israel to control itself! I've got two words for him and the same two words for you.

      Adski: Unlike John Krug, I dare you to elaborate on what your "Zionism" crack is supposed to mean...if you have to balls to do so!

    12. There is no negotiation when both parties in Palestine call for the genocide of all Zionists:


      Article (19) Armed struggle is a strategy and not a tactic, and the Palestinian Arab People's armed revolution is a decisive factor in the liberation fight and in uprooting the Zionist existence, and this struggle will not cease unless the Zionist state is demolished and Palestine is completely liberated.

      Hamas Charter:

      Article 7

      "The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (evidently a certain kind of tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews." (related by al-Bukhari and Moslem).

      Peace cannot exist when a political party swears to genocide if they get a chance.

      I'm all for liberating people in distress. I strongly support the rights of all people. Palestinians will never be free unless they have a political party that does not call for genocide.

      This is why I kind of support Israel's endeavours as of now. There is no alternative option for the Israelis because the Palestinians are not willing to compromise, for them it's either ''kill all the Jews'' or ''kill all the Jews'', and they have the backing of the other arab nations, which are and always have been of the opinion that the best course of action in any situation is to ''kill all the Jews''.

      Imagine asking the Jews to negotiate with Nazi Germany. Of course the Jews now have their own country and the IDF, but honestly, it's about the same in terms of feasibility.

      Israel just wants to be left alone, but unforunately for them they're surrounded by hostile countries and a sea, so there isn't much they can turn to. This is why I have no respect for people who think that Hitler and Nazi Germany are the epitome of evil, but think that the Palestinians are poor, mistreated peasants. The only thing differentiating the two is that one had the means to perpetrate genocide, and the other doesn't.

      If the Palestianians had the means, there'd be another Holocaust, and some people would call it 'justice'. Fucking anti-Israel people confuse me.

    13. "When (t)he oppressed are the oppressors here in Canada they are fascists, but Israel is fighting the good fight in Gaza."
      Honestly Yannick, do you think before you make some of your comments? How do you compare the position Quebec is in with that of Israel? Do anglos and allos blow themselves up on the Metro? Do your fellow New Brunswickers have plans to wipe out everyone in Quebec? The only thing the ROC fires at Quebec is transfer payments, but we notice that Quebec shows great restraint in that regard and never retaliates. If you're going to compare apples with something, why not try apples? And, by the way, perhaps you should look up "oppressed" in the dictionary before you use it to describe Quebecers. It is not synonymous with "coddled" and to imply that Quebecers are in any way oppressed is an insult to every legitimately oppressed group on the planet.

    14. A quick note before I make a lengthier reply - "oppressed" refered to the anglos and allos in Quebec, not the Quebecers.

    15. So you don‘t consider anglos and allos as Quebecers?
      Good to know.

    16. When I reply from my phone I tend to drop words when I think that the gist of the message will be understood. I should know better than to think that other commentators will accept it in good faith.

      I have never expressed that anglos and allos are not Quebecers.

    17. My apologies, Yannick. I've never heard anglos and allos referred to as fascists, but I have heard the seppies called that many times and since the seppies view themselves as oppressed and are now in the position of being oppressors to the anglo/allos, you'll understand my confusion. Now I have no idea what you're talking about, so further explanation would be welcome.

    18. @Diogenes : Sorry, I actually got confused. Allow me to elaborate.

      What I meant was that you could make a case that Quebecers were oppressed back in the 19th century. That might be pushing it too far, but I'm sure you'll agree that they were not treated fairly by the rest of Canada, and that it took Trudeau to put things right. Now the shoe is on the other foot, and they much of the same that they used to decry.

      Likewise, the Jews have obviously suffered enormously throughout history, but now that they have a state of their own their treatment of the Palestinians has not exactly been exemplary.

      @John Krug : Thank you for your detailed and thoughtful answer.

      I am aware that many muslim countries are subject to state propaganda that teaches them to hate the Jews and Israel. I hope you are not implying that this is true in Canada. If anything, official sources have always been Pro-Israel in my childhood. As I mentioned, my objections date from my involvement with human rights group. I notice that these are being ridiculed in the article you quote.

      I don't believe there is anyone who says that the Israelis do not have the right to defend themselves. I don't believe there is anyone who thinks that the terrorists have the moral high ground. It's the response that is usually out of proportion - the Palestinians fire rockets out of Gaza, kill/injure a dozen Israelis. Those are the actions of the scum of the earth, an authoritarian and fundamentalist regime. They are criminals under every sense of the word, with no legitimacy. The IDF, one of the finest militaries in the world representing a Western, Secular Democracy, retaliate and kill thousands of palestinians that have nothing to do with the conflict.

      If you want something more specific - why was it necessary to fire missiles from a helicopter in a crowded street to kill the old, wheelchair-bound Ahmed Yassin? It killed nine bystanders and injured a dozen people. Don't the Israelis have snipers? At least the Americans took out Bin Laden with a commando. It seems to me that the IDF does not believe that risking one of its soldiers is worth the lives of dozens of innocent bystanders. This kind of contempt for human life is not something I can easily accept, even if we do get to kill terrorists in the process.

      This makes me view Israel in a negative light. I am not so "anti-Israel" so much as I am "not being callous with the lives of civilians". I have the same attitude towards Barrack Obama's use of predator drones in Pakistan over the past year.

      Note that there are many in Israel who also condemn their military's excesses. It's not just something that crazy Yannick does out of Canada.

    19. Yannick, Part 1

      This is a blog about Quebec, so I will just quote the English writer, Melanie Philipps and leave it at that:
      Here is some information about the war between Gaza and Israel that for some unaccountable reason you may have missed today in Britain’s mainstream media.
      •The casualty rate in Gaza from Israeli strikes is astoundingly low

      Since the beginning of Israel’s operation Pillar of Defence last Wednesday against Hamas rocket attacks, there have been more than 1000 Israeli air strikes. At time of writing, the Palestinian death toll is 69. That is a staggeringly small number of fatalities for more than 1000 bombing raids.

      It shows beyond doubt that the Israelis are not only doing everything they can to avoid civilian casualties, but have achieved a degree of precision in doing so which no other army can match. For sure, every civilian casualty is regrettable, and the deaths of children are always tragic -- today’s apparently heavy toll particularly so, including at what appears to have been a mistaken target. Such mistakes inevitably happen in war.

      But consider this: the very low casualty rate among Israelis from the thousands of rockets that have rained down on them from Gaza is largely due to the fact that Israel has provided its citizens with shelters to save their lives. In Gaza, by horrific contrast, the Hamas leadership has deliberately exposed its citizens to attack by siting its rocket arsenals among them in order to maximise the number of civilian men, women and children who will be killed.
      •A number of Gazan civilians may have been killed by their own rockets

      Israel says that no fewer than 60 of the 703 rockets that Hamas fired at Israel between last Wednesday and Saturday fell inside Gaza on Palestinian civilians. The question therefore is how many of the 69 dead Palestinians were killed by their own rockets?
      •Here’s one: Hamas lies that a child killed by its own rocket was killed by Israel

      Last Friday, a number of papers along with outlets such as CNN in the US published prominent footage of the Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kanil weeping over the body cradled in his arms of a dead child, Mahmoud Sadallah, who Hamas claimed had been killed in an Israeli air strike. Blogger Elder of Zyon smelled a rat and, piecing together convincing circumstantial evidence, had concluded by this morning that the child was almost certainly not killed by an Israeli strike – not least because on Friday morning when the child died the Israelis had paused their bombing missions to allow for cease-fire talks in Gaza to proceed -- but by a Hamas missile that was fired at Israel but had fallen short in Gaza. Now experts from the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights who visited the site on Saturday have said they believe that the explosion that killed Mahmoud Sadallah was indeed caused by a Palestinian rocket.

      Just how prominent do you reckon the apologies on CNN and in the British media for this sloppy and incompetent reporting/malicious war libel of Israel will be?
      •Hamas admits to using human shields

      In 2008 , Gaza MP Fathi Muhammad boasted that Hamas used Gaza’s civilian population as human shields. He screamed:

      ‘For the Palestinian people, death has become an industry at which women excel, and so do all the people living on this land. The elderly excel at this, and so do the mujahideen and the children. This is why they have formed human shields of the women, the children, the elderly and the mujahideen, in order to challenge the Zionist bombing machine. It is as if they were saying to the Zionist enemy, “We desire death like you desire life”."


    20. Yannick, Part 2

      "Remember this next time you hear or read of claims by Palestinians or their useful western media idiots of ‘massacres’ of civilians in Gaza.
      •Hamas is now using journalists as human shields

      Hamas is preventing at least 22 foreign journalists from leaving Gaza for Israel. According to Israel’s Foreign Ministry, among those being detained are nine Italian citizens, one Canadian, one South Korean, a French national and six journalists from Japan. In addition, two Turkish Red Crescent members have been refused exit.
      •Hamas tells lies as a matter of routine

      Hamas has claimed, inter alia, that Israel’s Ben Gurion airport has been closed (false), that it had succeeded in shooting down an Israeli F16 plane (false), that it had hit Tel Aviv and had cut off electricity there (false). When will the western media stop assuming that they can believe any claim that Hamas ever makes?
      •Hamas is now threatening human bomb attacks

      Hamas is now threatening to use human bombs against both Israeli civilians in buses and cafes, and against Israeli soldiers in any ground offensive in Gaza. This is what almost certainly faces the Israel Defence Forces if they go in, because as Fathi Muhammad said (above), the Palestinians are a death cult; they are committed to death and to killing, while the Israelis are committed to life and to saving life.
      •Israel is feeding the hand that bites it

      Unprecedentedly for a country at war, Israel continues to supply food, gas and medical supplies to its enemies in Gaza for humanitarian reasons. Would any other country in the world keep the supply route open to people who are firing thousands of rockets to murder its people and are threatening to turn themselves into human bombs to kill its soldiers and civilians, so that they can continue to do so?
      •And now for some news from civilised Britain

      On BBC Radio’s Any Questions on Friday evening, audience questioner Stephen Bedford asked:

      ‘Despite all the foreign aid and support, Israel has spectacularly failed to get on with its neighbours. Does Israel deserve a future?’

      So with Israel having faced existential attack from the Arab and Muslim world for the six decades of its existence, and having been under intensive rocket, missile and human bomb attack from them for more than a decade, the BBC Any Questions production team selected as the audience question to launch its discussion of the Gaza war whether Israel actually deserved to exist at all.


    21. Hypothetically speaking, if Israel were to get rid of its weapons, it would immediately be invaded by the Arabs, who are hell-bent on Israel’s destruction and don’t recognize its right to exist. If the Palestinians were to do the same and stop lobbing rockets at civilians, then peace would break out because Israel is not trying to exterminate anybody.

    22. Yannick, I admire your patience.

      John Krug, you can't complain about Bill 101 anymore. The law was passed by people who face an existential threat, and every people has a right to protect themselves from threats. Take a 401 if you don't like it, or stay in QC and accept the constraints that were imposed on you. These constraints were necessary.

    23. "If the Palestinians were to do the same and stop lobbing rockets at civilians, then peace would break out because Israel is not trying to exterminate anybody."

      I'll just reply to this and leave it at that.

      It is patently false what this guy is saying. The permanent never-ending blockade of Gaza and West Bank is precisely to let the people who live there die off slowly. It's slow extermination by economic strangulation, humiliation, denial of opportunities, constraints on movement within the territories, denial of entry for observers, denial of exit for the residents, bulldozing of property, dispossession, uprooting of olive trees, control of crucial resources like water, permanent military presence, permanent micromanagement of the residents from towers set up around Palestinian areas. All because of claims of self-defense, and partly because of territorial claims based on what's written in the holy book.

      Reductionism of the issue to the rockets lobbed from the occupied territories may be politically and psychologically convenient, but it totally distorts the real picture.

    24. Thank you adski, for going into all the other things that bothered me ever since I saw the aforementioned documentary. I thought I would limit my voiced objections on kill counts, because I thought those were harder to defend, but the system of checkpoints inside what is supposed to be the Palestinian's own territory in the West Bank, and the giant wall they built all around it, in many places separating the Palestinians from their sources of potable water, are also of great concern to me.

      You're also not the first person who said that they admire my patience. Maybe I'll start believing it one day.

      Finally, the reason why Israel comes up so often here is because there is a large Jewish community in Montreal, sure, but I think it is also because there are many similarities between Israel and Quebec.

  11. "Coalition avenir Québec leader François Legault, called Breton dogmatic and dangerous and accused the PQ government of politicizing the independent agency"

    What specific measures of Breton's policy is Legault referring to? In your piece, you jump from Breton's nepotistic practices to Legault's accusations of Breton's dogmatism (and his "dangerous" policy). I don't think the dogmatism part refers o Breton's cronyism. So what is it? Did Legault specify?

    Is it about Brenton's pro-environmentalism "lower[ing] the rating of one of the province's financial cornerstones"? If that's the case, couldn't we call François Legault a dogmatic and dangerous free-marketeer, a popinjay of big business?

    1. No, the problem that I referred to is not his militantism, but rather his declared intention to 'control' the decisions of BAPE, which is supposed to be independent. The Liberals allege he demanded the cell phone numbers of the senior members so that he could phone them immediately if he didn't like what they said.
      Since I know your politics let me make a comparison that you will find helpful. A couple of years ago the Conservatives did the same to the Rights & Democracy group because they did not agree with the organizations supposed anti-Israel bias. First they removed the leadership ( just like Breton did) and finally they just got rid of the whole thing.

      Independent agencies are supposed to be independent, and that goes for BAPE as well.

  12. To Michel Patrice, S.R, YL and any others who love coming here and talking about what a shitty, oppressive country Canada happens to be...

    Check out the video in this link...and see what happens at the 0:50 mark:

    I sincerely wish this is where you guys were living to understand just how easy we all have it here and why you have NOTHING to be griping about.

    1. The seppies on this blog do not understand how far they have pushed the envelope in this country and in this province. They honestly think we will not stand up to them because we have let them run the show for far too long. It's time for push back and I hope everyone here is doing everything they can to put an end to their illusion of grandeur. I know I'm fighting back on a daily basis with every e-mail I can put out and to join any organization that is willing to stop this insanity. They must be stopped - we have no choice. I don't want to see civil war happen here but enough is enough. They just won't quit until we show them we mean business.

  13. "As for the possibility that the province eventually becomes a sovereign country, it is still a utopia dream for 67% of Quebecers,"

    Add me to the 67%, at least for the time being. Harper's remarks on the ongoing Gaza conflict officially complete my transition towards Justin Trudeau's stance on the place of QC in Canada. (

    For as long as the current government is in place in Ottawa, I shall remain a QC separatist. QC nationalists have, for the first time ever, become the lesser of two evils. Which, considering my views on QC nationalism, is an tremendous feat for the Harper government.

  14. Editor, I never comment but have come out to say that you never cease to impress me with your deep knowledge of Quebec and its towns and cities.
    How you know all this stuff about the geography and history of Rouyn-Noranda, attests to the fact that you must have been there often.
    BTW, I checked on Google Streetview and there isn't even a view of 9th St. that you could have used as a reference.
    Amazing! I bet there isn't one journalist in Quebec, other than a local who could have written that piece and what a good comeuppance to that windbag anglo-basher.

  15. English is NOT in danger in Quebec. You must be absolutely ridiculous if you believe in something like that. Canada is predominantly english and our neighbor the us is an english country. The french language is outnumbered 7 million to 300 million in north america. Besides anglophones are lucky enough to go to english schools. If this law 101 was never passed more than 20 % of quebecers would not be able to speak french. So stop crying and accept reality whether you like it or not

    1. "English is NOT in danger in Quebec. You must be absolutely ridiculous if you believe in something like that. Canada is predominantly english and our neighbor the us is an english country. The french language is outnumbered 7 million to 300 million in north america. Besides anglophones are lucky enough to go to english schools. If this law 101 was never passed more than 20 % of quebecers would not be able to speak french. So stop crying and accept reality whether you like it or not"

      Anonymous, your statement meant to read "English is NOT in danger in in North America", right?

    2. Tic... tic... tic... I wonder if you'll ever get a reply to your eminently sensible response to Anonymous.

  16. LD

    The Bloc vanquished, The PQ denied a majority and now an Anglo Mayor of Montreal. The walls the Separatists have been building seem to be crumbling around them.

  17. "ATTENTION! No speakee de Heenglish SVP!" if you expect some service on a city bus in a town that’s apparently half-English…

    You’re not welcome aboard
    Female student refused service for speaking in English

  18. And then when Harper comes to town to dole out goodies, the PQ (who openly admit wanting to create crises with the feds) throw a tantrum when they weren’t invited… LOL!ège.html

    In the comments, some people even have the audacity to call this a “provocation”!!!

  19. For the inbreds who think Michael Applebaum’s fine French with an accent should prevent him from being interim mayor of Montreal (because they grew up not being used to hearing English accents in French, while those who speak grown-up languages like English are used to hearing accents all the time, even much worse ones from PQ ministers), here’s a fun video that a group of Torontonians made in Paris:

    Maybe it will get them used to hearing it… many people find it quite charming!

    1. I find the video utterly charming. Go, go, indie Canadian music!

      And holy crap! Their cover of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” (with all 5 of them playing one guitar at the same time) went totally viral earlier this year, with almost 139,000,000 views on YouTube now.

      Not too shabby at all from a group from Burlington, ON. Downright awesome, actually!

    2. @TM, the video seems to be unavailable now. Wonder what that's all about!

    3. Both links work fine for me.

    4. I counter your video with a parody of said video.

  20. What does an American living in Quebec City know about the anglo community in Quebec? Has he even met a Quebec anglophone before? I would imagine the answer is no. Souphead, indeed. His last name should be "Lipton".

    1. Where do you think I got the "souphead" idea?

    2. LOL Souphead. Very strong argument! Insulting someone because he has a "funny" last name!

  21. Well, since the Editor explicitly asked for feedback about the Lipson opinion piece that was published in The Gazette last week, I figured I may as well make a round-up of the numerous published responses that it has prompted since then, for the sake of those who haven’t been following it. For the sake of posterity, since links tend to break over time, I’ve copy/pasted the text. I apologize for the lengthy post and hope that it’s OK with the Editor.

    1. So, it all started with:

      Opinion: English safe, anglos not oppressed
      QUEBEC CITY — The resurgence of aggressive language-rights rhetoric on the part of the Parti Québécois during the most recent provincial election campaign should have come as no surprise, given that the enforcement of language laws is a substantial part of the PQ’s platform and that the ideas behind such policies have been around for decades. What is surprising is some anglophones’ recent passion on this issue. Wherefore this anger, this indignation, this — dare we say it? — paranoia?

      The root of it seems to be nostalgia for the way things used to be, before many of today’s anglophones were born, when their parents and grandparents had advantages that in retrospect can only be deemed unfair. It is time to abandon this nostalgia.

      A populace legitimately elects its representatives who, in turn, enact policy. In Quebec, the Quiet Revolution really did change everything, and legislation meant to protect French has been on the books for ages now; it is not going away. As for the constitutionally protected rights of the anglophone community, sometimes these are infringed, and for these situations there are the courts. But Quebec anglophones are hardly an oppressed minority.

      Most anglophone Quebecers, as patriotic Canadians, respect federalism and bilingualism. Well, in 2012, here’s where we’re at with bilingualism. First, all but two of Canada’s provinces are almost entirely anglophone; members of linguistic minorities (francophone and otherwise) who live there, as well as travellers from the rest of Canada, are expected to speak English on a day-to-day basis. Second, Quebec is a French-speaking province with a large bilingual city. Visitors to Quebec may run into trouble if they try to get by in English alone, and screaming “We’re in Canada, a bilingual country” at the top of their lungs seems unlikely to change that fact.

      What’s more, the constant anglophone appeal for bilingualism in Quebec comes off as specious; it seems to be a one-way exchange. The Quebec anglophone would do well to remember that the Manitoban whose native language is French is actually losing that native language due to the failed implementation of Pierre Trudeau’s dream of bilingualism. That is a fate that no Quebec anglophone can realistically expect. English is not dying in Rouyn-Noranda, but French in Moose Jaw is an assimilated mess.

      The provincial government is entirely within its constitutional rights to do what it can to protect the French language in Quebec, and anglophones can and should understand this. If for English-speakers language is how one expresses herself, for many francophones language is part of who they are. Just as a man from Alabama whose father had to drink from a separate water fountain would never be expected to forget the colour of his skin, so a French-speaking Quebecer whose ancestors lived as a colonized majority cannot really be expected to forget the characteristic — language — that was used for centuries to differentiate her.

      Finally, if the Parti Québécois’s linguistic agenda is harmful (and it very well may be), only francophones’ and allophone immigrants’ opportunities are in the balance. If anything, such policies give English-speaking Quebecers an advantage: when francophones and non-anglophone immigrants are incapable of speaking the world’s lingua franca, bilingual anglophones reap the benefits, scooping up jobs that demand both languages.

    2. Let me be clear: I do not condone the misguided, exaggerated enforcement of Bill 101 proposed by the current government. But since anglophones’ own linguistic fears are without any real foundation, and since Bill 101 hurts francophones more than anyone else, the anglophone community would do well to remember a surprisingly helpful bit of psychobabble: “It’s not about you.”

      Brian Lipson is a Detroit native who lived in Montreal from 2003 to 2011. He is a law student at Université Laval in Quebec City and a research assistant at the firm Thibault Roy Avocats.

      Letter: American’s perspective on Quebec anglos is skewed
      What makes Brian Lipson an expert on commenting on anglo rights and the English language in Montreal? He is an American native, spent a few years in Montreal and will probably go back to work in the U.S. Let him speak to people who have a good working knowledge of the French language but the wrong name and have been refused jobs, e.g. Michael Applebaum. What about all the conflicts created in the métro when someone couldn’t speak French? I am positive that when he has completed his studies in Quebec City, Mr. Lipson will not stay in this province, but will run back to the U.S.
      Claire Nudel

      Letter: Opinion on anglo minority was uninformed
      Brian Lipson, a Detroit native who lived in Montreal from 2003 to 2011, writes that the anglophone community in Quebec would do well to remember that “it’s not about you.” He has no idea what it is like to live here as a Quebec-born anglophone. I have news for you, Brian Lipson: Yes, it is about me, and not about you.

      You are not a Quebecer living within Canada, you were not born and raised in this province, and have not spent your entire life trying to speak, live, work and coexist as a minority in this province.

      I would like to see how you would react if you were losing your rights and privileges on a daily basis. I have been spit on, insulted, made a joke of, and been told I cannot expect services in my own language, signs in my own language and respect for my own language in this province. I have also been told that I am not a Quebecer since I am an anglophone, yet I have lived here all my life.

      And no, we won’t be reaping any job benefits any day soon, since they rarely hire those of us with an English name, no matter how bilingual we are. Yes, the Parti Québécois’s agenda is harmful, and so are less-than-informed opinions from someone who has no idea what it is like to be a member of the Quebec anglophone minority.

      Virginia Gowan

    3. Response from Michael Helfield • Montreal, Quebec:
      Bravo Virginia! You have beaten me to the punch. This Mr. Lipson is terribly ignorant. Or is he? I wonder if his training in Quebec City is colouring his perspective. For a lawyer in training, he is definitely good at writing malarkey. My favourite line is about the colonial experience, as if the French were not colonizers themselves. The worst part of it all is the talk about the rest of Canada. The rest of Canada is mute. What matters is the history of a major English-speaking minority in Montreal and their right to live and work in their native tongue. It is the epitome of ignorance to downplay the overt racism that the PQ has been and continues to be guilty of. It is unbelievable. It is just as ridiculous and offensive as some Republican's comments on rape. I mean, they are not even hiding it. Call a spade a spade. All I am arguing is for English rights to be protected and not dismissed in one smarmy sentence. I think Mr. Lipson has a lot of homework to do!

      Letter: Expecting service be available in English is not a colonial demand
      Brian Lipson in his opinion piece feels the anglophone population are a bunch of whiners complaining about being an oppressed minority and that there is a real threat to French. He bases his argument on a premise that our fears are without foundation and that since other provinces expect minorities to speak English, we should be treated in the same manner.

      Well, two wrongs don’t make a right.

      Yes, the present nationalist government was fairly elected, and it has, without any doubt, an agenda for the separation of Quebec and for the tightening of laws requiring French to be predominant. There are, however, two charters that protect the rights of an individual, whatever his tongue, against discrimination on the basis of language. And as such, anglophones will use that right before the courts.

      Anglophones have become bilingual out of respect for their French brothers, not to preach it as a religion. And if that respect was returned in kind, how could we not flourish?

      The responsibility for the preservation of the French language, however, has to lie in the hearts of francophone Quebecers and not in the forcing of others to do it for them. It is through the love of a language that we learn, not through threats and coercion.

      Did not the Jews suffer, without the protection of government or country, for two thousand years, yet kept culture, language and religion alive?

      Montreal, while its face, streets and laneways pulsate with the French language and culture, it is, nonetheless, like Paris, an international city, whose lifeblood is that of commerce and tourism. To ask that those who serve the public be capable of speaking English is not a colonial demand, it is to make people feel welcome. It is simply being civilized.

      Cliff Oswald

    4. Letter: Anglos a ‘harassed minority’
      Honestly, I don’t know where to begin in rebutting the points raised by Detroit native Brian Lipson; he offered so many targets. It always intrigues me when an anglophone from another country, or even province, comes here and lectures those of us whose roots run deep in Quebec, as to our anxieties and nostalgia for the good old days when ubiquitous, fat, unilingual English salesladies stared down their noses at their fellow French-speaking Montrealers. Even in the most extreme of nationalist lore however, I don’t recall any anecdotes of these hefty sales clerks emerging from behind their cashes to pummel their francophone customers for having the audacity to address them in French.

      One can only speculate as to what ideological or psychological motivations drive such people to ally with those in the extremist ranks of Quebec nationalism. I guess the old wisdom that there are none so fanatical as the convert holds true. If English-speaking Quebecers are not an “oppressed minority,” we are certainly a “harassed minority.”

      I would ask Mr. Lipson to ponder further the following points he raised:

      The alleged advantages enjoyed by anglophones in the past: Were these language or class based? Did the structure of francophone society in Quebec contribute to these advantages, for example, by staying on farms, taking holy orders and avoiding business? Does he really believe the Scottish farmers in the Châteauguay Valley and the Loyalists in the Townships, the Irish working class in Point St. Charles, the black train porters in Little Burgundy, the Jews clustered around the Main or the Greek and Italian immigrants of Mile End and Little Italy oppressed francophones? Maybe exposure to other than nationalist myth making could help with developing a more rounded and informed point of view.

      The “failure of bilingualism” in the rest of Canada: Review the population statistics in the other provinces. Francophones constitute very small percentages of the population in most places, and yet, where there are sizable minorities, governments post signs in French, require public service employees to speak French, let parents choose the language in which their children will be educated, etc. Pierre Trudeau’s idea of bilingualism was for federal services to be offered in both languages where numbers warrant, not nationwide individual bilingualism, desirable as that might be. Not perfect, but a work in progress. And, was Mr. Lipson being serious when he said English is not dying in Rouyn-Noranda? Is he suggesting there is a thriving English-speaking community there of any numerical significance?

      English speakers use language as a means of communication while francophones see it is the defining element of their identity: Well, Catholicism used to be a part of that identity too, but never mind that. Instead of seeing the statement: “I speak French, therefore I am who I am” as the self-limiting straitjacket that it is, it becomes an all encompassing justification for oppressive actions taken against one’s fellow Quebecers and Canadians. This appears to happen whenever a group defines itself by one all-important variable, be it colour, religion, language, ethnicity, etc. This view needs to be examined and challenged and not accepted as an appealing cultural characteristic.

      Finally, I was somewhat bemused by Mr. Lipson’s frequent allusions throughout his piece that there are in fact problems with the aggressive stance of language hardliners, but anglos should just take a deep breath, go to court if need be, but let our francophone and allophone neighbours suffer the consequences the nationalists have inflicted upon them, because after all psychobabblic wisdom teaches: “it is not about us.”

      Phillip Burns

    5. Letter: Anglophones feel unwanted in Quebec
      I read Brian Lipson’s article stating that English is not at risk and Anglophones are not an oppressed minority. I agree! We are only made to feel disenfranchised with no rights (except to pay taxes) as Quebecers; the English language has, in effect, been banned in Quebec; and, we are unwanted because we love Canada.

      Our anglophone and francophone forefathers both did a lot of good and bad. It’s time to move on and not continue on this path of blame and retribution. Yes French needs to be protected, but not by encouraging hatred of everything English, legalizing the right of citizens to refuse or even assist us get, sometimes, critical information or help in English, revising history and discriminating against those that are not Québécois de souche. Anglophones are bilingual, but until we espouse Quebec separation we’ll never be accepted in this province. We are expected to tolerate eye-rolling, sneers and more when we speak French with an English accent.

      Anglophones traditionally encouraged higher education for their children especially in the fields of business, science and medicine, which resulted in the success of the businesses, universities and hospitals our forefathers built and that we continue to fund philanthropically.

      Comparing the francophone past to the oppression of blacks in the United States is extreme. Since 1857, Quebec has had 30 premiers, some whom served multiple terms, with only one being English (John Jones Ross 1884-1887). If anything, history shows francophone premiers and the Catholic Church, both of which dictated how Quebecers should live and where their priorities be placed, were the oppressors of francophones.

      Anglophones are a part of Quebec, and because this xenophobic thinking hurts us all with less investment, less job creation, less tourism, higher taxes and more qualified high earning anglophones, allophones and head offices leaving for less restrictive and friendlier climates, it is about us.

      Lorraine Hodgson

      Letter: Language is not such a big issue for West Islanders
      Although I agree with Virginia Gowan that Brian Lipson’s opinion piece was uninformed, I disagree as to why.

      Lipson suggests that anglophones are angry and (dare he say) paranoid about the recent rhetoric on language. My question to Lipson: where do you live and whom do you talk to?

      Out here in the West Island, at least within the crowd I hang with, I have yet to hear anyone discuss issues around language. Our children either attend French-immersion schools (because we were educated in English) or, by choice, are embedded into the French system. We all have jobs where we either speak mostly English, mostly French or a bit of both. We say “Bonjour” when we shop at Fairview (shock!) and we sometimes order in French at Tim Horton (no s). I don’t believe that language in the anglophone community is as much of an issue as Lipson suggests, although it is interesting to see how a visitor understands the situation.

      Lipson should take a drive out to the West Island. He might be surprised to see a fully functioning community that simply would prefer to see the Quebec government focus on economic issues, as opposed to preventing francophone children from learning English.

      Gwyneth Edwards

    6. Letter: The endangered language in Quebec is English
      Brian Lipson claims that “it’s not about us.”

      It’s completely about us! Unlike Mr. Lipson, we want our English schools to survive, our English community to thrive, yet both are in danger. Our English schools have lost over half their population. As they say, children are our future. We not only recognize Quebec’s French characteristics, we embrace them as our own. Does that mean we must forgo our own identity for those who speak French in a region that was founded and built by both languages as well as the aboriginal communities?

      The only language that is truly in danger in Quebec is the English language! The ones who are discriminated against are the English people whose community is slowly disappearing due to migration and lack of immigration. The English language is being systematically removed from the Quebec landscape due to government-imposed laws.

      Our education system is in place to educate our citizens so that they can succeed in life. By denying people a right to a language, whether it is for education or for commercial reasons, especially since it is the main language of commerce in North America and throughout the world is not just discrimination, it’s just plain stupid!

      Until our Quebec politicians finally recognize that bilingualism isn’t a virus but an asset, this conflict will never end.

      Michael Bradley

    7. Letter: For the PQ on language, enough is never enough
      I read Brian Lipson’s opinion piece with keen interest.

      Let me say from the outset that language per se poses no problem whatever for me. I am not only bilingual, but totally bicultural in French and English.

      What I deplore, however, is the coercive and relentless nature of measures to suppress one of Canada’s official languages on the premise that it will obliterate the other in Quebec. Coercion is always a sensitive and risky tool to use. It inevitably provokes a counter-reaction, and disturbs harmonious relationships.

      The defensive argument that holds that coercion is essential for linguistic protection is belied by those very fortunate individuals who are not only bilingual and bicultural, but multilingual and multicultural. One of my Portuguese-born friends, a skilled landscaper who never had the privilege of a higher education, speaks not only his native Portuguese and French and English, but Spanish and Italian as well. My colleague co-founder of Train de l’Ouest is at ease in his native Dutch, as well as in French, English, German and Spanish. How I envy them, I who only had the opportunity of learning French, English and Creole.

      And what bothers me above all is the Parti Québécois’s relentless language crusade, where enough is never enough. It would take a totally biased observer not to recognize that French is clearly dominant and firmly established in Quebec, and is here not only to stay, but to flourish in all spheres. Reluctant as many may have been in the face of coercive and at times ridiculous linguistic measures, they have learned to adjust to them, to roll with the punches, to live and let live.

      What bothers them, and me, is that the screw of coercion is never tight enough. Each new PQ government means further tightening and buttressing lest the fortress should crumble.

      Let me ask Mr. Lipson this: If he lived in Florida or Arizona or another state whose majority population became Hispanic — which is a demographic possibility — and that state legislated Spanish as its official language while banning English as such, and besides, included a provision for anonymous complaints within the enabling legislation, would he meekly accept it? Or would he consider it a coercive measure that, besides creating unnecessary friction, subtracted from his personal freedoms while diminishing opportunities for Hispanic- and English-speakers alike?

      I love living in Montreal, where I enjoy the access to the two cultures, and where I live by choice. So language itself is not my beef. But I am fed up to the teeth with the great obsession over language issues and battles, as well as with the relentless and draining, and yes often futile, arguments. What I, and a large number of reasonable individuals seek is to be able to live in harmony with our neighbours and in our communities. And our motto is: “Assez c’est assez!”

      Clifford Lincoln

      Clifford Lincoln, who these days is working to improve train service to the West Island, is a former MP and MNA who resigned from the Quebec cabinet in 1989 over the Bourassa government’s language policy and its adoption of Bill 178, which invoked the Constitution’s notwithstanding clause.

    8. Letter: Being served in English is no longer a right
      Like Virginia Gowan and Claire Nudel, I also am a non-francophone born and raised in Montreal. I attended English schools from primary to university (pre-Bill 101 generation). I have never experienced any discrimination nor been denied work because of what they refer to as the wrong name.

      Yes, I too am a minority living in Quebec and have come to accept Quebec for what it is, a French-speaking province, and being served in English is no longer a right. I suggest all others start doing the same and leave behind their nostalgic days. And just for the record, no I am definitely not a PQ sympathizer.

      Charlie Marchione

      Letter: Francophone Gazette reader discouraged by reactions to language article
      I read The Gazette every day, and as a French-speaking Quebecer, I am often saddened by the rancour and vindictiveness of the letters you choose to publish. So I was very heartened to at last read Brian Lipson’s opinion (“English is not at risk, and anglos are not an oppressed minority,” Nov. 12), a more level-headed and, in my view, fair assessment of the issue.

      But your readers’ reactions brought me down to earth quickly. Especially the reader who writes that “Anglophones have become bilingual out of respect for their French brothers”! Is that person for real? Doesn’t he remember that it took the election of René Lévesque and Bill 101 to get a lot of anglos to learn French, and that they did so kicking and screaming!

      And finally, I almost couldn’t believe my eyes when Clifford Lincoln compared French Quebecers, a founding nation of Canada, to Hispanic immigrants forming the majority in Florida. How completely out of touch can you be! As he says: Assez c’est assez!

      Michelle Rochon

    9. Also, The Gazette is running a section about the use of Frenglish in Montreal:

      There are some interesting videos there. Some of you may want to take a quick survey of how you call 20 common things about town and see how you compare to your peers; or, even may even want to contribute some examples to the wiki of Montreal English!

    10. Lorraine Hodgson,

      "Quebec has had 30 premiers, some whom served multiple terms, with only one being English (John Jones Ross 1884-1887). If anything, history shows francophone premiers and the Catholic Church, both of which dictated how Quebecers should live and where their priorities be placed, were the oppressors of francophones"

      Well said. You have made the point perfectly.

    11. Don't forget me! I'm English too!

  22. Editor, please delete this comment since Blogger doesn't follow proper nesting rules when the comment is at the bottom of the page.

  23. Thank you Equanimity for the above info. Interesting to see how people view this matter. Most feel as I do - frustrated by the whole mess.

  24. "He bases his argument on a premise that our fears are without foundation and that since other provinces expect minorities to speak English, we should be treated in the same manner."

    C'est ce que la majorité des Québécois pense et avec raison.

  25. "I almost couldn’t believe my eyes when Clifford Lincoln compared French Quebecers, a founding nation of Canada, to Hispanic immigrants forming the majority in Florida. How completely out of touch can you be!" Out of touch? Please elaborate how the situation is any different. Both Arizona and Florida were first colonised by the Spanish, both have had a significant Spanish-speaking population for hundreds of years. Arizona and Florida's populations had gone from majority Spanish speaking to majority English speaking, and judging by recent demographic trends, it seems as if their populations could once revert to majority Spanish-speaking. This is very similar to the situation in Quebec, where Quebec was majority Frnech speaking, then became majority English speaking, then majority French speaking again. The separatists demanding the restriction of English in Quebec would be just as irrational as a situation where the Spanish speakers in Arizona or Florida were to demand the same thing. No one is denying that French Canadians have always been a part of Canadian society. However, what you don't seem to realise is that English Canadians have been a part of Quebec society for hundreds of years as well, and have helped to build the province to the place it is today, and therefore don't deserve to have their rights taken away.

    1. Some differences : Florida and Arizona were essentially unpopulated before they were acquired by the Union. A more apt comparison would be Manitoba, which had significant amounts of French inhabitants before being acquired by Canada, though that quickly changed due to massive immigration.

      The Spanish speakers who now populate those countries are not descendants of the original inhabitants, but rather people who have immigrated recently.

      The Spanish speakers in those states have no long-standing institutions, because they were quickly assimilated after the massive American immigration after the acquisition of the territories. Unlike Quebec, there were no Spanish hospitals, schools, universities.

    2. The Manitoba comparison is not quite so black and white. You neglected to mention that at the time it joined Confederation, the original province of Manitoba was a square 1/18 of its current size centred around Winnipeg and was known as the "postage stamp province". Manitoba grew progressively, absorbing land from the Northwest Territories until it attained its current size in 1912.

      At the time of the purchase of the Northwest Territories by the federal government, the Red River Settlement had 5757 francophone Métis, 4083 anglophone Métis, 1500 Canadians and 558 Amerindians (link), thus francophones represented slightly less than half of the population. In addition to immigration from Ontario, over the next decade, 4000 French Canadians moved there from Quebec.

      There was the issue of the Métis rebellions led by francophone Louis Riel (and his summary execution of Thomas Scott, who had in turn rebelled against Riel’s rebellion) that halted much francophone settlement and expansion westward. There was also the issue of the Manitoba Schools Question; the revanchist PQ have evidently taken a page out that book.

    3. Given the amount of people who lived in Florida and Arizona when they were acquired by the US, I still think the comparison is much more apt than with Quebec.

      But point taken, the Cat. I knew of these details, but there's only so much I can write.

  26. Noranda is about as good an example ad you're going to find of ethnic cleansing in Quebec. It went from being a vibrant anglophone community (albeit with a lot of "freaus" whose children went to English school instead of French (Catholic) school) in the 1960's to what it is today. The winds of change - and the politics of language- blew most anglophones right out of Abitibi to other parts of Canada.

  27. Yes, we have our own form of "ethnic cleansing" here in quebec - no doubt.

  28. Dear Mr. Lipson:

    I believe all you've done here is meagerly repackage some of the PQ's 'Greatest Hits' arguments and, in so doing, you assume quite a bit. I do not conclude, as you do in your all-the-kids-are-doing-it argument, that Canadians put forward bilingualism as a means to press Quebec into more widely adopting English. Rather, what I see are two different issues: bilingualism is promoted as official federal policy as a way of providing services to French-speakers in their own country and, separately, there is a desire among English-speakers and others in Quebec for respect and something approaching equality under the law. By the way, some research would have told you that jobless rates and poverty rates are higher for English-speakers in Quebec, so the "nostalgia-fueled" desire to dominate? Not sure about that.

    But, the lawyer in me (JD, Southern California, 1996) and the American in me (New York, New York, 1970) wants to go mano-a-mano on the rest of your screed.

    Your argument 'the provincial government is entirely within its rights..' comment may be so, if you're being fairly reductive about the matter. Yes, it does seem that in Canada's very peculiar brand of federalism that Quebec 'is able to get away with' its heavy-handed linguistic policy but realize that this relies on some fairly tortured bits of law: first, there is the notwithstanding clause, an unprecedented-in-the-Western-World little 'out' that Quebec has used to run roughshod over the established rights of its citizens and, second, its 'see no evil' approach to rights that others Canadians have but that Quebecers do not (viz, Charter s. 23) So, sure, Quebec can 'get away with it' by invalidating Constitutional rights or by simply pretending that the Constitution doesn't exist.

    So, yes, these are the glorious legal underpinnings of your legal argument. Congratulations, you win on a very, very ugly technicality.

    However, I do believe that those who object to Quebec's Sovietesque legal strategies are objecting under the concept of natural law. Maybe you haven't gotten there yet at Laval (maybe you never will) but it is the idea that any law must divine its justness and therefore its existence from an understanding of essential goodness: qualities like fairness and equality. American-to-American, you know that whole bit about 'and they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights and among them are...' C'mon, I know you can finish it. That's Jefferson declaring that the United States is founded on natural law, which goes back to Plato and finds its expression most often in English Common Law. You know, the legal underpinnings of Canadian Law? Do you kinda get it now? Those who object to Bill 101 and all of the PQ's other misdeeds are saying it's unjust and therefore illegal. I don't know, maybe just me, but Jefferson's words still make my knees quiver and if you're going to be a lawyer, wouldn't you rather believe in something nobler than 'well, if we refuse to ratify section 23 and then use the backdoor trap we inserted by threatening to walk out of negotiations...'

    So there ya go, big boy a whole lot of law stuff for you. I have confidence in you, what with your 'wherefore's and such but you're a guy from Detroit, why not just let me, a guy from New York, give you a bit of lawyerly advice in a mutually intelligible vernacular: 'please get your %#*! head out of your ass.'

    PS: Notice how I didn't even bring up your whole 'man from Alabama' analogy?!

  29. Conrad Black: Clearing the Quebec air, National Post Nov 17,2012

    "French (in Quebec) is not under threat at all; all that is under threat is the ability of the Quebec linguistic bigots to dictate provincial policy."

    1. Would one of you lawyers out there please clarify what the following from the National Post actually means in layman's terms: Thank you.

      Any province that votes by 60% or more to secede can do so, provided that any federal voting constituency that votes by 60% or more not to secede will remain in Canada, and referenda cannot be more frequent than every 10 years. Any seceding province will assume half the percentage of the Canadian federal debt that the seceding province has as a population of Canada’s (pre-secession) population. If necessary, joint censuses will establish these figures. Any federal government assets in the seceding province will be paid for, if the seceding province wants them, over 10 years, at a price agreed by joint commissions, with a casting vote, if necessary, from the International Court of Arbitration. If the province doesn’t want those federal assets, the federal government may sell or keep them as it wishes. All normal intergovernmental matters, such as ease of passage, trade and so forth, will be negotiated de novo, as between sovereign states, but existing contracts not abrogated automatically by the dissolution of the federal relationship, will continue.

    2. The first sentence is what I'm specifically referring to: Does this mean that areas within a province, that vote 60% or more not to secede, will remain in Canada? Hope so - lays ground for partition.

    3. @ Mr. New York NY (J. Esposito), your response to souphead was absolutely sublime so thank you for that.

  30. On a totally unrelated topic (or not),

    It was interesting to read this article and especially the commentary on the CTV News website, link below:

    “Quebec ready to pay families to stay in the city”

    1. ROFL. "Non, non, please don't go! :("

  31. Allophones say:

    “I need English for my Career”

    When it comes down to the question of Language essentially, people just want to ensure that they learn both, but especially English in order to have...(mmm...let me see.....MMM... oh yeah...)..”OPTIONS”???

    1. Muñoz, a French high school graduate, is studying computer programming at Vanier. “When I was finally free of my legal obligation to study in French, I came to Vanier,” he said.

      Ah, sweet coercion! Always a sure-fire way to generate warm, fuzzy feelings towards something. Isn’t that the way it works for you?

  32. “I need English for my Career”

    Prend des cours!

    1. « Il n'est pire sourd que celui qui ne veut pas entendre »

      Get a Job !!

    2. The six students made the point that English is not well taught in French schools, another reason for them to choose English CEGEPs over French. Golovin said that despite taking English at his French high school, his command of the language did not improve. Said Muñoz: “I picked up what little English I learned from playing video games.”

      Besides, getting to practice outside the classroom is always best. :)

    3. My SO has an excellent command of English, which she has only because she insisted on watching English television, movies, and playing English video games. She regrets that the level of instruction in French schools is dismal in the context of ESL.

      A comparison: her siblings do not understand any English beyond "yes, no, toaster" because they refuse to even hear English, not out of hatred, but because they don't want to learn a second language. When my SO wants to speak to me privately while her siblings are around, she speaks to me in English.

    4. Isn't that true of any language instruction though? There's only so much you can get out of the classroom, you have to use it on your spare time to get anywhere in it.

      Am I wrong?

  33. Lisee hiring 20 more people to look into how to keep french families in Montreal - more waste of my tax money. I guess if you're pur laine you should put in an application for one of these jobs - sounds to me like you wouldn't have to do much - just recommend rent subsidization to any pur laine family i.e. more welfare, and there will be lots of french families that will want to live in Montreal. Why not, if they get rent practically free. Damn, I wish I could keep some of my own money in this place instead of giving it to every pur laine that applies for every benefit it can suck from this bigoted, separatist government. Talk about openly bribing people!

    1. L'ontario est à quelques pas cutie...Allez Hop!


    2. “But better die than live mechanically a life that is a repetition of repetitions.”
      D.H. Lawrence

  34. Drapeau canadien au Salon rouge: erreur à «corriger», dit un expert

    1. S.R.'s English is so good that he must be at least one half anglophone. This would make him a self hating anglophone or an anglophone who is mocking francophones. My bet is on the latter.

    2. Current sampling of responses to this article from real Quebecers who represent the majority of nous at

      Therese Labrecque : si elle ne veut pas voir NOTRE drapeau canadien donc elle ne doit pas aller dans les autres provinces....

      Louis-Pierre Forgues : l'erreur c'est le Quebec qui on élue cette folle la !!!

      Simon Laplante Si moi je ne veux plus la voir, je peux la retirer de la chambre d'assemblé aussi?

      François Côté C'est juste du gros bon sens. Bourassa a foutu le dawa en l'affichant. Parizeau L'a enlevé. Charest la réaffiché(pis y'a pas un calisse de chat qui s'en souvient, j'en mets mon bras au feu). Pis Pauline le r'enleve. C'est une roue, qui ce terminera jamais. Pis pendant ce temps la, on parle pas du budget Marceau, de la dette, des régimes de retraites, du positionnement Canadien en terme géopolitique(Israel et Iran, principalement) Ahhhhh, le bon petit peuple!

      Kev Forand Moi, qui enleve mon drapeau, fine! Mais qui vienne pas chialer quand ils ne sont pas invites au manege militaire. Oublier le beurre et le pain!

      Nicole Bois Giroux Elle oublie que 67% de la population n ont pas rejeter le drapeau, c est elle et sa clique d extremiste de souverenistes

      Jean-Philippe Guimont Poline la madame avec une graine !

      Tommy Joubert Poirier Tant qu'à moi c'est une guerre entre séparatiste et fédéraliste. L'auteur essaie de trouver un moyen simple qui semble objectif pour dire que le drapeau ne doit pas être là. Mais on s'entend de toute manière pour dire que dans ces pièces, le drapeau est pas à titre indicatif mais bien décoratif. Pour certain il représente le beau pays dans lequel on fait partie (mon opinion) d'autre le trouves répugnant. Pourquoi on ne dit pas les choses tel qu'elle le sont.. C'est donc une vulgaire tentative de tasser le drapeau pour des raisons officiellement indicative pour des raisons officieusement haineuses.

      Josée Riopel Je serais curieuse, juste comme ça : qu'est-ce qu'ils font dans les autres provinces???

      Smith Bobby Tout le monde le savent, le PQ NOUS impose leurs salade anti Canadien anti Anglais, meme chose pour le drapeau Canadien c'est leur facon detourne de promouvoir le raciste anti Canadien, et biento avec le PQ au pouvoir la fete National s'appelra la journee de l'anti Canada!

      Mathieu Pook Langlois Stune folle point final, merci au peuple quebecois davoir elu une criss de socialiste, hey enlever ler cours danglais a lecole?! FAUT TU ETRE CAVE?? A fait so pour empecher lmonde de sortir du quebec et faire une VRAI paye kia dlallure, po un salaire de creuve faim! Pis jaimerais ben voir so moi kelkun au telephone pour une compagnie kan lautre comique vien der etat sa doit etre beau, moi. Jsuis 100% bilingue! et fier de po etre un der
      Petit criss de mouton franco a matante paupaul

      Al Cyr Pauline Marois comme PM, une "erreur à corriger" selon une majorité!

      Janick Gagné Un expert qui contribue au pq

      Wayne Bones Clifford Mais on connait la vraie raison c'est du separatisme symbolique...c'est tout. La reine Pauline decrets ces sujets...

    3. Jean-Pierre Blackburn Au salon rouge c'est pas le drapeau qui est pas à sa places mais le PQ et sa gang de traître à notre pays.

      Julie Lareau Un seul mot : imbécile !

      Claude Gauthier Mathieu t'es bien loin d'être 100% bilingue car la qualité de ton français fait pitié pis pas à peu près, tu écris mal mais tellement mal en français j'espère au moins que tu es capable d'écrire une phrase en anglais sans faire 49 fautes!

      Claude-Heimdall Laroche il y a bel et bien un mot pour decrire le PQ... mais personne l'utilise... traitres... ou hypocrite... menteur... egocentrique... bon ok sa fait 4 mots... meme plus encore pourrais etre pris

      Réjeanne Lavoie pas trop de péquiste sur le'y tiens :a mon drapeau Canadien...POpo ne respecte même pas nos soldats....Si Hitler serait de ce monde ,elle se mettrait à genou devant lui.

      Alain Miron Vas t elle refuser les chèques canadien

      Andre Villeneuve Dignité du drapeau

      Le drapeau national du Canada doit toujours être déployé d'une manière qui convient à sa qualité d'important emblème national. Il ne doit faire l'objet d'aucun traitement indigne ni être placé dans une position inférieure à quelque autre drapeau ou insigne. Notre drapeau national a toujours préséance sur les autres drapeaux nationaux, lorsqu'il est déployé au Canada. Les seules exceptions à cette règle sont les étendards personnels des membres de la famille royale et des onze représentants de Sa Majesté au Canada (le gouverneur général et 10 lieutenants-gouverneurs).

      Robert Cote Je ne suis pas surpris du tout.................fallait s'y attendre. Je me demandais juste quelle niaiserie elle ferait en premier. C'est une honte, s'il y a une justice, elle va payer pour, c'est certain. De toute manière.....comme dit la chanson......(je ne fais que passer)

      Robert Cote Le coquelicot......le drapeau Canadien......les cours d'Anglais.......l'annulation des frais de scolarité......Les hausses d'impôt pour les salariés moyens......ETC ETC Essayons de trouver la prochaine niaiserie.....

      Bruce Doucet Keep our NATIONAL flag right there next to our PROVINCIAL flag!

      David Lemay tant qua y etre enlevons le drapeau du quebec a lhotel de ville de montreal cest une administration municipal.....

      Frédérick Mc Cabe L'erreur c'est d'avoir placé cette bande de fou au parlement... J'en crois pas encore mes yeux à quel point les québécois se sont planté au dernière élection...

    4. I, for one, am pleased as Punch to see that the opinion of one low-quality yet prolific commenter is not at all representative of true Quebecers.

    5. Je vous ferai remarquer Jos,que le niveau de français des commentaires ci-dessus est d'une médiocrité extrême qui correspond généralement à une classe sociale très peu éduquée et mal informée.

    6. Pour être franc S.R., les commentaires en Français sont souvent de médiocre qualité d'une façon ou d'une autre.

  35. Still on Language, ....this just out:

    “Quebec Language Rules: Brands To Fight Government Over French Signs”

    Can’t wait to see what happens!

    1. LD

      If the Separatists win, they'll go after another English target. If they lose, they'll use it as a rallying cry for their cause. Yet another "humiliation". So torturous for their virgin eyes to see English words on their native err colonized land.

    2. Same article with better formatting and commenting, easier to read:

    3. And with far more commentary here:

    4. The facebook comments are very well informed...

  36. Commentaire d'une jeune femme anglo (obèse évidemment)qui s'oppose à la francisation d'une multinationale américaine qui exploite ses minables employés :

    "Elizabeth King I am so sick of this nonsense. Honestly, I wish the British had brutally suppressed the French after their win on the Plains of Abraham. They should have burned down all the French settlements, moved their own people in and put the French people on a boat back to France.
    il y a 14 heures · J’aime · 4"

  37. Bash someone on her weight! Classic sovereignist! Classic Marois in the Gaétan Barrette episode!