Thursday, January 24, 2013

Language Insensitivity Plays Both Ways

I'd like to thank readers for their kind words in regards to our 1000th post.

As longtime readers know, I am not using the "Royal We" in describing myself and this blog, I use the term 'our' in acknowledging that this blog is collaborative, with a lively discussion every day in the comments section that most everyone finds satisfying or infuriating but not often dull.

Our 1000th post generated thousands of pageviews, so it is pretty clear that many readers drop by without commenting and that is just fine.

I do not get to see IP addresses and cannot identify anyone, but I do see what city people are coming from, whether they came directly or via a link from another website and what blog piece they are reading and whether they click on any of the links provided in our blog. 
As I said, it is strange to see a reader from say Perth, Australia visit our blog and leave via a French language link, but it happens all the time.
This week I noticed an uptick in readers arriving from vigile.net, so no doubt NoDogsOrAnglophones was mentioned in a recent blog piece, not in a particularly flattering manner, I imagine.
As you know, I often provide links for words or phrases that may be unfamiliar to readers for whom English is not their mother tongue. Some say it is annoying, but I see many, many of these links being clicked on every day, so I will continue to provide them.

Many Some francophones who visit this blog accuse me of being a Quebec-basher, an angryphone who hates Quebec.
Nothing could be farther from the truth, I love this province, just as many of you 'complaining' Anglos and Ethnics do as well.
I  enjoy speaking French, having spent a thirty year career travelling Eastern Canada and speaking French most of the time. I co-owned and helped manage a company which was staffed with employees who were 70% unilingually French.

By the way, many of my experiences that I write about have been been shaped not by my political involvement, but rather my professional career, travelling on a daily basis to the four corners of eastern Canada, working perhaps one day in the Saguenay region, visiting company installations in Dolbeau, Jonquière and Alma, to be followed the next day, perhaps by a trip to Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John in New Brunswick. Then it might be off on flight to the GTA, where I always made sure to dine at my favourite Chinese restaurant on Spadina, down the street from our company location.

I'd come back to my Montreal office for a day of office work, perhaps followed by a road trip down Highway 20, stopping perhaps in Beloeil, St. Hyacinthe, Drummondville and finally on to Quebec City.
I also did trips to Sandy Beach, Rimouski, Rivière-du-Loup in the Gaspé peninsula and visited Granby and Sherbrooke and Magog in the Townships on other days. Another day it would be a road trip to Ste. Agathe in the Laurentians, with stops in Laval, Rosemere, St. Sauver, St. Adele, with very occasional jaunt all the way up Highway 117 to Mont Laurier.

Let's not forget Eastern Ontario, Cornwall, Kingston and Ottawa as well trips to Abitibi visiting Val D'Or, Rouyn Noranda, LaSarre, Kirkland Lake and Timmins. And let me not forget to mention Halifax and environs.

Over those thirty years I think I got a sense of the locals, I knew these towns and cities like the back of my hand. Each was fascinating. I cherished my time on the road, the greatest learning experience of my life.

I liked my employees as well as the locals that I interacted with. Everyone knew I was a Anglophone boss from Montreal who spoke pretty good French and that seemed to make all the difference.  I was always treated with courtesy and respect. I made many friends, separatists as well.
It's hard to spend that many decades in the field and not learn a thing or two. Most of my memories are fond.
So why on Earth would I dislike Francophones or Quebec, I spent an entire lifetime interacting here on a most satisfactory level?

Quebec-Basher...me really?

I understand and respect Quebecers' right to speak and live French, I just have a difference of opinion with French language radicals who use the issue to divide and inflame based on a well-defined separatist agenda. If calling them out on their duplicity and dishonesty makes me an angryphone, so be it, I'll wear the badge with honour.

The truth is that I like francophones a whole lot and I particularly like the French language, it is quite simply beautiful, especially classically written French, which is simply delicious. Those who have the ability to read and understand Marcel Proust in classic French and William Shakespeare in old English, understand that languages are like flavours, the more you are familiar with, the more you enjoy life.
But even modern day French is wonderful, the blog pieces I read on French web sites, even amateur ones like vigile.net are chock full of literate and skillful writers, anyone who says different doesn't know what they are talking about.

At any rate for this 1001th  post, I am going to do something different, I'm going to play the 'l'avocat du diable' and I hope you indulge me. You might be surprised...

On Wednesday, I was watching a portion of the Charbonneau corruption commission on the French language news channel LCN, when a commercial appeared that had me scratching my head.

I recorded it and present it here, in accordance with fair use doctrine.

video

I don't know what the car company was thinking about in presenting a commercial on a French television channel that is essentially all in English.
The song, as you can hear, centers the commercial and sets the tone for what the company wants consumers to feel about the product, which is I imagine, the feeling of freedom to roam the countryside in their wonderful Dodge SUV.

If you are a native English speaker, the commercial is effective, the song, powerful and evoking, but if you are French....well that's another story.

More than half of Quebec francophones don't really speak English and I imagine that of the bilinguals, or semi-bilinguals, there aren't many who could understand the message or the mood that the commercial was trying to set. Music lyrics in a foreign language are always difficult to understand and even then, who of us concentrates on commercials anyways?
Commercials have but thirty seconds to catch our attention and make a point. For francophones I can't imagine the impact of this lame attempt.

So why not translate the lyrics into French to make the message more effective? This is not a political issue, it is a business issue.
I'm not proposing that the company use a different song, but hey, even Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer has a French version. Here's something sung by Dean Martin and Mireille Mathieu that is not quite a French version, but demonstrates the possibilities. Youtube

The idea is to sell trucks and I cannot imagine the message being more effective presented  in English than in French, to a francophone audience.

Now I'm not suggesting that the Bell Centre adopt an all French musical program during Montreal Canadiens hockey games, that is another case all together.
At the hockey arena, it is hit songs that the fans want to hear (I imagine) and all of the vast majority are sung in English, that is just the way it is.
I guess the days of a dreary organist playing old standards, lame renditions of Hava Nagila or NaNa Hey Hey are gone, but that being said, I do remember getting stirred up (like Pavlov's Dog) when the timeless Les Canadiens Sont là! struck up as the Canadiens jumped onto the ice to start the game.... but I digress.

In a letter to LE DEVOIR, a reader complains about English Christmas music in a Montreal shopping mall and I cannot help but agree.
"I just returned from Sears, the department store in Galeries d'Anjou in the east of Montreal. As you know, the east is the last refuge of "pures laines" francophones on the island of Montreal. The magic of Christmas was in full swing, but particularly in English. During the two hours I spent there, Christmas carols and holiday rigadoons echoed exclusively in the  language of Mordecai Richler.  
It seems that the magic of Christmas is now programmed directly from Chicago (or Toronto ...).  
But Sears is not the only culprit. In the mall, it's the same scenario, we hear but Bing Crosby and Nate King Cole. No Tino Rossi or Marie-Michèle Desrosiers, this in spite of being deep in the east end, with 90% of customers speaking French ...  
Another sign of the decline of French as I mentioned earlier?

Of course, the example is  trivial. We won't mount a battle for a few Christmas carols ... Far be it from me to suggest that we should regulate the music in shops and malls. Seriously ... But the example
is instructive...." Link{Fr}
There is absolutely no excuse for not playing French Christmas music in the mall.
French Christmas carols are every bit as good as English ones, so it isn't a choice of quality. Christmas music is played in shopping centres to set a mood, it gets clients feeling good about the season and ultimately gets them into the spending mood.
Again, a good business decision would be to play French Christmas music, it resonates with French clients more so than does English music.
This isn't brain surgery, nor should it be a big political issue.
Those who program English Christmas music in a French-speaking area are lazy, stupid and not particularly adept at their job.

So should people complain, as this letter writer did?
They should, but they don't because most have busy lives to lead and so as the situation degenerates, it is up to the language hawks to make a big stink, which is unfortunate, but lazy and insensitive anglophones who make these bad decisions have to accept a measure of the blame.

I know most English Canadians believe that Quebecers are big complainers but the opposite is true. We hear the vocal minority, but the majority usually just grin and bear language slights.
I defend my francophone compatriots because they are my friends and I can't abide the injustices that they do suffer, deliberate or by accident.

How many products in our store have garbage French translations that should be insulting to all Canadians.







I'll let readers in the comment section explain the unfortunate translations above to those without French.

So I do support playing English music when francophones want to hear English hits (Bell Centre), but I cannot abide by English music being played when the francophones prefer to hear French  (shopping mall). Again, not brain surgery.

The language debate, whether it be signs or music, is complicated, in that everybody has a valid opinion, even if those that are diametrically opposed.

I'm reminded of one of my favourite scenes from Fiddler on the Roof wherein the main character, Tevye, is called upon to mediate a dispute.
He listens to the story told by the first of the disputees and promptly agrees that he is in the right. He then listens to the second story told by the opponent and agrees that he is also in the right.
When an onlooker reminds Tevye that they both can't be right, he agrees, telling the kibitzer that he is right as well!
Or as the old CERTS commercial told us...."Stop, You're both right!"

Such is our language debate.

Here is an article that I found online, that has nothing and everything to do with our Quebec language debate, from all places...Israel.
"Others like Haifa’s mayor, Yona Yahav, are fighting to prevent the English language from taking over both the municipality and from appearing on business signs across the city.

Yahav, who was born in Haifa before Israel became a state, has had enough with English dominating the coastal city and has banned municipal employees from using English words such as global, audition, fine-tuning, test, and project in official documents, in order to encourage Hebrew word usage.

Likewise, the Haifa mayor is trying to stop businesses from using only English signs to market their services.

It all started when Yahav went to get his haircut at his favourite barber and discovered to his dismay that the barbershop had a huge sign with the word, "Hair Stylist," printed on it. The Haifa mayor asked the young owner to switch the sign into Hebrew, and when the owner refused, the mayor decided that he would start a campaign against the overuse of English in his city.  Link
Language will always be an issue, such is our destiny in Quebec.

As for music in the Bell Centre, one final note.
When that day comes that the Habs win another the Stanley Cup on home ice(cough, cough!..) I know one English song that will be played that not even the staunchest of French language militants will complain about.

"We are the Champions."....by Queen.


Readers, it's Friday and I like to finish with a smile.
This is what made me laugh this week, I hope you get a chuckle.




and finally....


Have a great weekend!
Bonne  fin de semaine!

241 comments:

  1. Mariez-vous avec Noel. Hahaha. That's hilarious. We actually need more translations like that because of their comedic value.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Personally I've encountered

      Vegetable oil = Pétrole de légumes

      and

      Xatham gum = La gencive de Xatham

      Finally, a friend of mine told me her boss had translated

      Chicken breast sandwich = Sandwich au sein de poulet

      Delete
    2. I came across :

      weed killer = meurtrier mauvais herbe

      Quand même, ça doit être efficace...

      Delete
    3. An electronic store on Jean-Talon (close to where I live) translated cellphones as cellule...

      Delete
  2. Likewise, in 80%-Francophone Dieppe we were served English-only ads through lazy air-dumps.

    I remember in front of our High School, Mathieu-Martin, was a Dairy Queen. The school was a bit out of the way, so we were most of the Fast Food's clientele. You'd think that would mean that the owner would make some kind of effort to have French menus or (gasp!) Francophone cashiers. Alas.

    Then Dieppe passed a law that said that ads and signs had to be bilingual, and the cries of the victims echoed through New-Brunswick. You'd think putting up some bilingual signs was as painful as being skinned alive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @ YANICK
      For your info., I spent a lot of time in your city.
      My friends were owners of the Champlain mall and I helped with a bit of the development.

      I'm going to tell you the truth, but you won't like it.
      For our company, across Eastern Canada where we operated, the most brazen,aggressive and sometimes violent shoplifters were encountered in Champlain Mall.
      It's not a put down, just a fact.,,,

      Delete
    2. Why should I be put down by that? Champlain mall is technically in Dieppe but is next to Moncton, the shoppers are as much (if not more) anglophones as francophone.

      That said, one of my best friends at the start of high school (before he dropped out) was banned from Chaplain Mall for attempting to shoplift from walmart. Classy.

      Delete
    3. Fair disclosure....

      ...shoplifters were mostly English, by about 8-1.(or native, BUT I'm not going there!)
      I just remembered that....sorry

      Delete
    4. Thanks for the clarification Editor. 8-1? That's shocking. o.o

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. Yeah bad translations is nothing compared to the racism from which I suffer in my everyday life.

      Delete
  4. Readers. I'm not going to carry the load.
    Can someone please explain to non French speakers, the idiotic errors contained the above ads. It may evident be to you, but clearly to non French speakers such is not the case.
    Remember this is a participatory blog, readers also have the obligation to make a contribution!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well...there's Engrish, so why not Flench or flançais? There's an Engrish website, so why not start a flançais website?

      Delete
    2. OK, I’ll bite.

      A “union connector” makes a union between two things… not a syndicate-type of labour union.

      “Merry Christmas” (“Joyeux Noël”) has been translated as “Marry yourself with Christmas”… obviously, completely absurd. I wonder where this could possibly have come from and what the hell they were thinking.

      Delete
    3. Merry and Marry sound alike, but even then it's pretty hard to see how the translation could be so bad.

      Most bad translations come from improper use of homonyms/words with multiple meanings - union as both a connector and a labour union, oil as both something you cook with and something you put in your car, etc...

      Delete
  5. The editor writes:

    "There is absolutely no excuse for not playing French Christmas music in the mall."

    Yes, there is an excuse.

    It's called freedom of speech, Editor. And it's really none of your business how a businessman decides how to express his free speech. If francophones are insulted by it, they can take their consumer dollar and shop elsewhere. If enough are, this will ensure a change to French lyrics faster than you can sing "The Charter of the French Language." Indeed, this is why there is no need for language laws as it pertains to the language of commercial expression because the marketplace itself provides a self-regulating mechanism in this area (and, by the way, that is why the historic Ford decision by the Supreme Court of Canada -- the "marked predominance" decision -- is completely flawed).

    Ditto for the English language commercial you reproduced. Obviously, the producers and the people who paid for the commercial feel that for whatever reason -- the "mood" of the song, the consistency of a national campaign, whatever -- was enough of a justification to present the lyrics in English. I can't recall at the moment (and am too lazy to search youtube for them) but, through the years, I have seen commercials aimed at the English language market done in French and other languages.

    Languages evolve, change, and mutate, Editor. They gain speakers, lose speakers, become predominant in a culture and, oftentimes, disappear altogether. That's just the nature of languages. Over 40% of all English words find their root in French or Latin via the French...all as a result, mostly, of a certain conquest by the French over the English that took place on the British Isles a millenium or so ago. Should we strip the English language of these "impurities" so that the language goes back to being Olde English?

    By the way, I am amused by your invocation of the Fair Use Doctrine, which is a law in the United States and has no jurisdiction in Canada. It's a great law, by the way, and one we could benefit from here. I'm sure there is an equivalency in Canadian law, but I don't know what it is and what the parameters under which it operates. Pretty much the entire internet relies upon it...and some companies, such as Google, exist because of it. I used it once in an online parody of Brian Mulroney and was sued by him as a result. I didn't challenge him because I simply didn't have the time to do so (and, as a result, the parody was taken down) but had I, it would have been the Fair Use Doctrine (I did it while in the U.S.) that I would have used as a defense.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't believe for a second that the market is equipped to facilitate the linguistic expression that people/consummers want. I think such an attitude is naive and close-minded.

      When Francophones start getting air-dumped with english-only ads there is very little they can do about it.

      Delete
    2. The "people can just choose where they shop" argument is usually (if not always) put forward by people who have no vested interest in the language at stake or experience in living in the air-dumped camp. Hard to take your moralizing seriously then.

      Delete
    3. Yannick:

      If the French language in Canada does die, it will die because of attitudes such as yours.

      If francophones are too timid or lazy or for whatever reason not willing to inconvenience themselves by being conscientious consumers and, instead, rely upon government to legislate the survival of their language, French will surely die.

      If you don't like the service you are getting from a businessman vis a vis language, get off your ass, put your balls in your hand, tell the businessman why you are unhappy with his non-service in French, and take your consumer dollar somewhere else.

      If you and francophones are not willing to be active participants in the marketplace of life, French doesn't deserve to survive.

      Delete
    4. Yannick writes:

      "The 'people can just choose where they shop' argument is usually (if not always) put forward by people who have no vested interest in the language at stake or experience in living in the air-dumped camp. Hard to take your moralizing seriously then."

      I have no vested interest in French. Why should I?

      But, you see, if I were Portugese speaking in Quebec or some other language and wanted it protected, I don't get access to either government funds or government enacted laws to protect my language; I and other Portugese speakers are on our own. So, why should French?

      You see, Yannick, there's that irritating little matter of equality rights. The Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms prohibits discrimination (positively or negatively) on the basis of "language" (The Canadian Charter does as well through jurisprudence). So, aside from official language status -- which only pertains to governmental services -- French, Portugese, English, etc. are on there own.

      Oh, and since French enjoys official language status, French should be put at the bottom of the list when it comes to any consideration of propping up a language in the private sector because by virtue of its official language status it gets a natural advantage over all other languages in the private sector.

      Delete
    5. I don't believe for a second that the market is equipped to facilitate the linguistic expression that people/consummers want. I think such an attitude is naive and close-minded.

      When Francophones start getting air-dumped with english-only ads there is very little they can do about it.

      The "people can just choose where they shop" argument is usually (if not always) put forward by people who have no vested interest in the language at stake or experience in living in the air-dumped camp. Hard to take your moralizing seriously then.


      Yannick, while I agree that this is the traditional grievance of francophones in Canada, I wonder whether you realize this is very nearly the current reality for anglophones in Quebec. I too can choose not to buy things marked “Produit du Québec” only, and I do. Ads that I used to receive bilingually are increasingly being sent to us in French only.

      It appears that the argument comes down to the fact that English is not about to disappear in the world despite the PQ’s attempts to make it invisible in Quebec. And yet, French is not about to disappear from North America either, no matter how much fear the PQ tries to instill in the population.

      Also, the argument about “Louisianification” that the PQ wishes everyone to believe doesn’t hold water either. The situation between the two is simply not the same.

      Delete
    6. @the cat

      "...the argument about “Louisianification” that the PQ wishes everyone to believe doesn’t hold water either. The situation between the two is simply not the same."

      true, a difference being that louisiana french has not been "protected" by law.

      but maybe you see others. i would like you to carry on. why is it not the same?

      Delete
    7. Once again, student, you are being economical with the truth. French in Louisiana was ACTIVELY SUPPRESSED by the law, which is not the same thing as "not being protected". It wasn't protected for almost a century, and it still wouldn't die: they had to kill it!

      Delete
    8. While it makes business sense to play French Christmas carols, this is a decision that should be left up to the mall owners - plain and simple. I agree that they would probably be better off playing music in the language of the locals but you can't make someone act in their own self-interest. That you have to leave to figure out for themselves.

      Delete
    9. " If francophones are insulted by it, they can take their consumer dollar and shop elsewhere."

      What if this "elsewhere" is limited to shopping mall A, shopping mall B, shopping mall C, all the same, all playing the same music? Let's be clear: it is a very political (and not strictly cultural) decision to oppose English music in some shopping mall. However, the fact that the choice of music available to the mall manager is all in English is also political. The influence of the Anglo American culture on other countries, such as mine, is political. Culture is soft power. Behind all the fun and games on MTV, watched by all the youths in my country, lies politics. I see how it plays out in bidding for contracts on big state projects for example. Population soaked in a culture is more receptive to an economic penetration from that culture.

      It has to be stated that in a market dominated buy us/our language/our country/our culture, it is easy to talk of "competition", "free market", "free trade", free this, free that. It is easy preach about the free market when you have an advantage on that market. It is easy to talk about "choices" when you set these choices.

      It also has to be stated that the struggle against this one-sided dominance of one language and one nation takes very stunted forms of virulent nationalisms and religious extremisms. They get many things right in their analysis of the situation, but are also very repellent and offer no alternatives. And it's clear that power is their prerogative. It is evident in their stern faces.

      Delete
    10. "There is absolutely no excuse for not playing French Christmas music in the mall."

      Yes, there is an excuse.:

      It's called freedom of speech, Editor”

      OR they’ve run some studies and have discovered that from a marketing perspective you spend more money when you hear English Christmas music in malls. Myself, personally, I tune out Christmas music, French, English, instrumental when I start hearing it in July, okay I’m exaggerating, in August.

      Really, we’re complaining about this now? Or it is an issue now? I don’t mean to sound insensitive, cause well some people appreciated you being devil’s advocate (the MP’s of the world), Editor,...but ‘Me’....I’m just surprised at you. Let’s stop appeasing dissent for the blog, it’s unbecoming. You ARE objective, no need to prove it to anyone.

      That being said! Keep up the great work!!! (smiley face) LOL. (I mean that).

      Delete
    11. adski writes:

      It has to be stated that in a market dominated buy us/our language/our country/our culture, it is easy to talk of "competition", "free market", "free trade", free this, free that. It is easy preach about the free market when you have an advantage on that market. It is easy to talk about "choices" when you set these choices.

      Corporations know that unless they curry favour with what the buying public wants, they are out of business.

      Just ask R.I.M.

      Or, for that matter, Apple which overnight is losing market share to Samsung.

      Consumers vote with their dollar each and every day. The marketplace is the most democratic of all because unless they get what they want, they "vote" out of office the suppliers of their goods and services.

      Cultures and linguistic groups cannot rely upon government to prop up their culture. It's a Potemkin Village of protection. Indeed, from this perspective (and one I subscribe to), Bill 101 is killing the French language because it gives the false impression to francophones that passing a law is all that has to be done to protect and preserve their language whereas it is, in reality (at least as far as language of commercial signs are concerned) their active participation in the marketplace that will do the trick.

      Forget for the moment that Bill 101 violates umpteen human rights codes; its real "crime" is making Quebec's francophones passive in regards to what has to be done to make French flourish.

      As for "us" (I think adski is referring to anglophones here), I am the son of a Greek immigrant whose first language learned was Greek. So, he chose to integrate into the English-speaking culture, one of the two predominating imperialistic, colonialist, imposing linguistic groups in Canada. The other is French.

      Cry me a bucket of tears over this racist, intolerant tug-of-war between two colonialist powers and their cries for mapping out linguistic space for each other while ignoring all other languages on the territory. It is enough -- far more than enough! -- that French and English get official language status. For the rest of life's activities (things that happen outside the purview of government services, such as activities that happen in malls -- please leave the choices up to the free market and get the hell out of our lives.

      Delete
    12. The Cat : I am totally aware of the fact that the anglophone minority faces a similar situation, mostly through anecdotes of yourself and Cutie. You'll forgive me if when I complain about my own pet peeves I don't necessarily include the problems of others, though.

      Tony : Adski really summed up what I was thinking much more eloquently than I ever could. I have this against "Free Market" arguments - they shift the blame of whatever is happening on the weaker member of the market. It's invariably used by those with the big end of the stick, and offer no recourse to those complaining other than to imply that it must be their desire, else the offending businesses would not be as succesful.

      Government intervention is absolutely crucial to avoid the blind, unthinking excesses of market forces. We need regulation for safe food, for accurate labeling, for mandatory providing of health and ingredient information on food, for safety warnings, for truthful representation, for bilingual markings of all of the above, for minimum wage, for safe working environments, for non-discriminatory practices both from an employment and from a consumer perspective, for the conservation of our resources, for limiting the amount of pollution produced by our products, for limiting the output in pollution from our own activities, etc...

      Leave any of those to the forces of the market and what inevitably happens is that consumers and producers take the path of least resistance in what is usually known as the tragedy of the commons. The only remedy against the tragedy of the commons is our willingness to self-coerce our population through representative democracy. For instance, quotas on fishing try to ensure that we do not replicate the collapse of the Cod Fisheries in the Atlantic back in the 90's (an event I experienced first-hand).

      I can't, with my money, decide how much fishers will fish. Fishers themselves cannot decide how much anyone else but themselves can fish. They have to assume others will take advantage of them if they don't fish as much as possible. I can't vote for keeping our fish populations viable with my dollar, but I sure can decide to do it with my vote. This is what Quebec voters do whenever language or 101 is an issue at the polls - they make a decision that cannot be made with their dollar with their vote instead.

      The assertion that this principle cannot be applied to other parts of consumer services such as the ability to communicate to your consumers, both written and orally, is completely and utterly beyond me.

      Delete
    13. ...and let's stop this incessant f**king social engineering of our lives.

      The editor of a major Toronto newspaper once said back in the '60s: government has no place in the bedrooms of the nation.

      I say: government has no business in the mouths of the people of this nation. Leave my free speech and those I freely associate with (in the malls, the streets, and the homes of the nation) alone.

      Delete
    14. Dear Lord, Tony, get your quotes right! Pierre Trudeau, Social Engineer Extraordinaire said that back in the 60's, when he decriminalized sodomy. You couldn't have chosen a worse quote if you tried!

      That's because he realized when regulation decreased our overall freedom, and when it increased it. So no, let's NOT stop social engineering. Rather, let's decide when and where it's appropriate and where it isn't.

      Delete
    15. Yannick:

      How about this: in those areas where it is demonstrably evident that the free market cannot achieve the goal pursued, then -- and only then -- we can consider having the government interject its sticky little fingers.

      Fact is, the marketplace of "language of commercial expression" is easily regulated by consumer choice. It is so ridiculously easy for francophone consumers to use the power of their ballot (one "loony" equals one "vote") that it really doesn't warrant much discussion at all.

      So, let's try free choice first, as our default "system". And if that doesn't work? Why, we can consider Big Brother then.

      And, gee, it very well may turn out that the marketplace can actually perform and achieve the goal better -- much better! -- than anything the government can do.

      Delete
    16. Tony, it's funny because when those who want to defend themselves from Madonna and get Marie-Michèle Desrosiers to play instead, they're also imposing and also making a political move. The difference is that if Marie-Michèle Desrosiers dethrones Madonna in some mall, you know that it's by decree, so you know it's protectionism. But Madonna playing everywhere is taken as letting the "market forces" decide. Yet that's an illusion too. Madonna is imposed too. By the advertizing industry that turns people's brains into slush, and by an economic power of the global entertainment industry. There's big money behind those "stars" and it takes lots of political power to have an American movie in every theater in the world. Free market is less free than you think. And it doesn't operate on the principle that informed consumers make rational decisions. Rather, misinformed consumers make irrational decisions. Otherwise, not much money would be made, as people's real needs are not that elaborate. Consumerism is something manufactured over time, not something that evolved naturally. Advertizing fabricates needs. If the market was only providing necessities that the customer base "wants", there would not have ever been Madison Avenue. The advertizing industry would not exist. But it exists, and it's the most lucrative business in the world.

      But I agree with you that you take out Eminem to play Loco Locass, you are also imposing. Absolutely. You impose by the power of the government what others impose by privately concentrated power. Both state and private powers are to be reckoned with, sometimes they complement each other, sometimes they clash. But they both dictate. They don't give you any "choice". Maybe an illusion of one.

      Delete
    17. If you scroll up aaaaall the way to the top of the page, you'll see that outside of Quebec, in my francophone community our town tried and tried and tried to deal with free market to no avail, so eventually had to pass a bylaw to get the desired effect. The "free marketplace of ideas" is already the working system in the majority of cases and Quebec is the exception rather than the rule.

      Due to circular logic (Everything is in English, and people must be happy with that, otherwise not everything would be in English), free-marketeer anglophones such as yourself convince themselves that no-one has any issue with this, or that they can change things with the power of their dollar. I posit that it cannot, in many cases, and I offer up Dieppe for that reason.

      Likewise, I'd be convinced if you could share real-life examples of non-anglophone communities reversing the trend of globalization using only their money. Due to the aforementioned circular logic, I don't think that you can.

      Delete
    18. Yannick writes:

      Dear Lord, Tony, get your quotes right! Pierre Trudeau, Social Engineer Extraordinaire said that back in the 60's, when he decriminalized sodomy. You couldn't have chosen a worse quote if you tried!

      No, Yannick, it is you who are misinformed, much as you are by the myth-makers who promote the "French is in danger" meme we've all been fed by the Pablum-Propaganda Machine.

      Pierre Trudeau plagiarized this most famous "saying" that has been erroneous assigned to him...and a mythology has been built up around it for more than forty years. In reality, it would be more accurate to say that Trudeau "paraphrased" it, but seeing as Trudeau himself did nothing all the time he was alive to dissuade the gullible Canadian public from knowing the origins of the saying, I think it's fair to call him a plagiarizer.

      "He seemed to come from out of nowhere in the 1960s, saying things like, 'The state has no business in the nation's bedrooms.' He borrowed the phrase from a Globe and Mail editorial in December 1967 when he was Minister of Justice explaining legislation he had introduced in the House of Commons that would reform divorce laws and liberalize laws on abortion and homosexuality."

      See:

      Pierre Trudeau, Bullshit Artist

      Delete
    19. Adski writes:

      "Madonna is imposed too. By the advertizing industry that turns people's brains into slush, and by an economic power of the global entertainment industry."

      Adski, if all it took for a business venture to succeed is for them to "advertise" their product or service, then the candlestick makers and the buggy whip manufacturers would still be in business.

      The meme that advertising can "make" consumers buy products is a fallacy. While its true that advertising can make a consumer "try" a product, it cannot, over time, force a consumer to continue purchasing that product unless it provides him with some value.

      Delete
    20. Do you think he repeated that sentence purely for rhetorical purposes and not because it agreed with his ideals and the intent of the bill he was proposing?

      Delete
    21. Here is a good documentary. The whole video is really good, but Part IV is specifically on Consumers and starts at 1:08:20.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXg70qJQ6O0

      Delete
    22. "We need regulation for safe food, for accurate labeling, for mandatory providing of health and ingredient information on food, for safety warnings, for truthful representation, for bilingual markings of all of the above, for minimum wage, for safe working environments, for non-discriminatory practices both from an employment and from a consumer perspective, for the conservation of our etc."
      Yannick - What about the language police now telling the pharmacy that instructions for medication and safety warnings are to be passed out in french only? Do you see how these laws are becoming dangerous for the anglophone and allophophone communities and why we are pissed off about these sorts of issues? What about road safety and having signs in french only rather than bilingual format? Is this not also dangerous?

      Delete
    23. Yannick asks me:

      "Do you think he repeated that sentence purely for rhetorical purposes and not because it agreed with his ideals and the intent of the bill he was proposing?"

      I think he stole that sentence (sorry, Yannick, for all the reasons I gave above I think the use of the word "repeated" is way too kind) for both rhetorical purposes as well as because it agreed with his ideals and the intent of the bill.

      Delete
    24. Adski, re: your documentary link.

      First, thanks so much for providing the time stamp for me to go to! I can't tell you how my times correspondents send me a link to a long video asking me to see it for only one point in the video which, of course, forces one to watch the whole thing. Your time stamp allowed me to go right to the part you wanted me to see, thus saving time and frustration!

      As for the content you wanted me to see, I watched for about 2 minutes and actually got physically ill from the utter crap that was being put forth that I had to stop watching. I wish I had time to go over every point of contention but I am putting off work as it is with my other posts here and can't do you or it justice by responding the way I would like, so I apologise to you for that.

      Delete
    25. "I wish I had time to go over every point of contention but I am putting off work"

      That's what Michel says every time. LOL

      Delete
    26. How about ...government not trusting the Francophone majority in the province to choose French over English, isn’t that the truth? How sad that they don’t even trust and have confidence amongst themselves to protect their language. All we keep hearing is how the minority French Canadians will get sucked up by the English Majority in the ROC. The unequivocal truth instead is that they can’t trust themselves about the issue first and foremost. Ultimately because they’re inept, confused and insecure, the rest of us suffer by losing our fundamental Rights in this province.

      Delete
    27. “The "people can just choose where they shop" argument is usually (if not always) put forward by people who have no vested interest in the language at stake or experience in living in the air-dumped camp. Hard to take your moralizing seriously then.”

      Because of Language, people have lost their Rights and keep losing my Rights, everyday in Quebec. So guess what buddy, YOU CAN BUY EAR PLUGS!

      Delete
    28. I have a high amount of confidence in Francophones choosing French. I fly Air Canada and not WestJet. When I call customer service, I always select the French version even if it's much slower than the English. When I do banking, I do it with the Banque Nationale because even in Calgary they on occasion have French-Speaking staff. When the option is available, I choose to have all correspondence sent to me in French.

      What I have a low amount of confidence in, is that choice being provided to them in the first place. The unequivocal truth is that marketers from the US know that we know English and can't plug our ears or unsee commercials. They also know that language is not the #1 overriding concern in our lives and that we will not circle around town for three hours until we find the one place with the correct amount of French. They know that we are generally decent human beings who will switch to English when a store does not have French-speaking staff, even though we would have chosen the French option had it been available.

      Interestingly, the people who DO have language as the #1 overriding concern in their life is the SSJB, and boy do they make it known! Calls to boycuts, demonstrations, lobying - but how do you react to that, AnecTOTE? Do you say "Good! They are trying to get the market to notice that they will not receive their patronage!"? HAH!

      We are told, "vote with your dollars" but the people who actually go out and do that are seen (rightly) as uncompromising bigoted radicals. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. There's no way to win. Tell a business "I am not buying from you because your service does not cater to my Language, even if it is cheaper" and you will be told that you are mad to place Language above savings. And that's when there are options, which much too often there are not. I'll choose to vote with my vote, thank you very much, and I'll remember to shed a tear for those unfortunate souls unjustly forced to display the minimum amount of effort catering to their customers.

      Delete
    29. Yannick writes:

      "Interestingly, the people who DO have language as the #1 overriding concern in their life is the SSJB, and boy do they make it known! Calls to boycuts, demonstrations, lobying..."

      and

      "We are told, 'vote with your dollars' but the people who actually go out and do that are seen (rightly) as uncompromising bigoted radicals."

      I have no problem with "radicals" who use the marketplace to further their agenda; it's their money. I know of no one who has problems with the SSJB for that reason.

      Indeed, I encourage it. What better way to demonstrate that the draconian provisions of Bill 101 are entirely unnecessary?

      Delete
    30. @Yannick - I can understand your choice of choosing AC over Westjet, etc. and other agencies that offer the choice between french and english - that is your right and it encourages these agencies to improve on their service to the french Canadians living outside quebec. What you have to understand is that the separatists are working in the opposite direction as everyone else in the country in that they keep removing our rights to make the same choice as you do except in english. Always and forever, quebec goes against everything and everybody that is trying to accomplish the "right" thing for citizens in the country. That is exactly what the fight is all about - What is their purpose of doing this other than to gain separatist votes for their cause? Nothing else - language is just a tool to wield against federalists - that's it, that's all. The francophone separatists have to understand that they are being led down the garden path to economic ruin, all in the name of "protection of the french language" bullshit.

      Delete
    31. “When I do banking, I do it with the Banque Nationale because even in Calgary they on occasion have French-Speaking staff. When the option is available, I choose to have all correspondence sent to me in French.”

      I don’t think any government who has presided over this province (past and present), really gives a rats a&& about what people in Calgary do; no offence, but they obviously don’t trust what the people living in “Quebec” do, or trust them to make the ‘right’ choices and that’s what I meant.

      Delete
    32. My, but this has turned into one long thread. I think everybody responding here is up to their asses in alligators and has forgotten the original objective is to drain the swamp.

      I think everybody on this thread is overlooking the obvious. Isn't Céline Dion making about a hundred mil a year singing songs in Vegas? In what language is she performing the songs and speaking to the audiences?

      Hmmmmm.....?

      Delete
    33. English is the lingua franqua of the world, and learning it is essential for success on anything beyond a purely local level. But that doesn't mean that we'll willingly leave our roots behind.

      Delete
    34. Yes Yannick! That's what it's all about in these arguments - If I was a francophone I would want the advantage of learning the lingua franqua of the world, not to be restricted by my government with laws preventing me from obtaining success any where in the world. What a silly notion and what a way to restrict their own population to their own little part of the world. Of course, I would not want to leave my roots behind; most people don't leave their roots behind just by becoming bilingual. That again is nonsense.

      Delete
    35. I agree with you Cutie. I think the strategy is that with a lot of unilingual francophones, marketing actually has to be done in French in many places. The more bilingual we become, the less companies know they have to try. Therefore, maintaining a large amount of unilingual francophones helps preserve the language.

      It's a stupid strategy, that's sure, because it's like cutting off your nose to spite your face. Unfortunately, I'm afraid I can't pretend that it's not partly effective. In my experience, wholly bilingual communities are expected to suck up and just live in English. I'm sure you've lived it in Montreal - if you live here you ought to know French, so we won't try to cater you in English anymore? Perhaps not by everyone - but by enough that it can seem like the wrong direction to go for someone who thinks cultural ties are more important than economic ones.

      I'd like to point out that this kind of fear is by no means only francophone - for instance, look at the famous book "bilingual today, French tomorrow". While hysterical and paranoid, the book did show that even in a position of dominance, people from the majority of this country could feel like bilingualism was a transition period in a path of assimilation.

      Again, not saying that this is a right mindset to have, but it's an understandable one.

      Delete
    36. Mon dieu, Seigneur ! That's exactly why bilingualism is eminently understandable and respectable and yet somehow it's not acceptable to who knows who... mon doux Seigneur ! Que faisons-nous en pensant ainsi ?

      Delete
    37. Yanninck writes:

      "English is the lingua franqua of the world, and learning it is essential for success on anything beyond a purely local level. But that doesn't mean that we'll willingly leave our roots behind."

      I agree with you, Yannick except the "on anything beyond a purely local level."

      English is absolutely essential for success even in Quebec; that is, if francophones want to succeed in a myriad of commercial activities in this globalized world which requires everyone to know the current lingua franca of the world (ie, English).

      Sad because Bill 101's restrictions prevent most francophones who would like to learn English from doing so by not allowing them to send their children to English language public schools. Of course, the elites of the Liberal Party and PQ have the money and resources to do just that; not so many of the regular Joes.

      Delete
    38. There are still lots of jobs that are moderately succesful that can be done without knowing English. You can manage a store where the language of use is French, for instance. You could be a writer. You could be a university professor or a nurse. You could even technically be a doctor. A singer, or an actor.

      But in all those cases, it's hard to pretend that you would have more opportunities to be successful if you also knew English.

      Delete
    39. *that you would not have more opportunities

      Delete
    40. Yannick,

      I believe in free market, and apparently you do too. You are willing to sacrifice your Frenchness for your economic benefit. How? You chose Alberta over Quebec.

      You can say that Quebec pays much too low compared to Alberta, and I believe you are completely right. What you did, in essence, is you chose where your money would go. You did not want to pay the price to live and to build yourself in a French-language environment. It is totally your right, of course. But the same token can also be applied to those who choose English products than the French ones. Or those who choose English culture than the French one. Simply put, the ones in English are available more abundantly than the French ones and in times they are cheaper.

      Bottom line, francophone businesses and indivuduals in many instances choose English over French for whatever self benefits they may have. And I do not think anyone should blame them or tell them to do otherwise - as long as it does not violate the rights of others - as it is them to will reap the loss or profit from such action.

      Delete
    41. Actually Troy, I originally went outside of New Brunswick for education opportunities, as there were no programs in my field east of Quebec. I'm not planning on staying in Calgary forever, but waiting for a good opportunity to come back east.

      If you'll remember, I attempted to apply to a position in Montreal for which I was underqualified, and was not successful.

      My next attempt will be Ottawa, I believe.

      Delete
    42. Yannick,

      If you'll remember, I attempted to apply to a position in Montreal for which I was underqualified, and was not successful.

      I do not remember you ever wrote that at all. My short memory, I guess. What I remember is your writing that in your field your position in Quebec was getting paid much lower than it was in Alberta.

      Delete
    43. That is also true. Alberta has the highest paid salaries for, well, everything, and Quebec's salaries are some of the lowest.

      I touched on the subject of my application between july and september of 2012. Perhaps you just missed it.

      Delete
  6. FFROM ED
    EDITOR, You're sounding like COMPLICATED. How dare you blame the English for not bringing in French music. There are as many French people running these malls as there are English. Why do you assume it is an anglo deciding the music. Most music is not English Canadian or French. the majority listen to American stations the same as we do on TV. If the franco or anglo doesn't throw the right switch, wow does that become the anglos fault. But the important thing here is that Francophones are not complaining. if they did it would change. The management of these malls probably figures they are quite content with the norm.
    I've been saying all along that the reason the liberals did nothing about English is because they were never asked to. They thought the English were content with the laws in the same way the mall managers probably do now.
    I can't help thinking when i worked on the waterfront, Inventories; bills of lading and shipping receipts came in many different languages but we had translators who could decode and send on the many different instructions. Our man at McDonnell ship repair was a Swede who spoke seven languages. The Parti Quebecois could not lower themselves to use any bit French. Ed

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll bet a dollar to a donut that the music being played was from either Muzak or some other paid service that the mall manager subscribed to.

      In this instance, he probably ordered "Christmas Music" and because he was most likely incredibly swamped at what is the busiest time of the year (over 40% of all retail sales happen during the Christmas season), he didn't have time to "review" for political correctness the 4 or 5 hours of Christmas music that his subscription service sent him. It probably didn't even enter his mind that anyone would object to Christmas music in any form unless, say, it turned out that they were hymns to Beelzebub.

      Delete
    2. Talk about a first world problem. I really can't believe the whole debate about french vs english Christmas music. Who cares? Are people there to shop or listen to music? If I want to hear music I'll stay home and put on what I want to hear. If I'm shopping I tend ignore it anyway. Besides, it's not like the whole world (I'm speaking figuratively here, Student, so don't start asking me for a list of names) doesn't have an iPod or equivalent that can provide an alternative listing experience. While you're complaining to management about the language of the vocals, you might also request an upgrade to the typical store sound system and maybe better acoustics.

      Delete
  7. Of course, unilingual francophones are completely oblivious to any of this… and yet as an example, this is the unflattering way that Quebec was represented today around the planet on Public Radio International (PRI)’s “The World” (“Global Perspectives for an American Audience”):

    https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/pris-the-world-global-hit/id101192633?mt=2

    ReplyDelete
  8. “Muriel Mathau”…groan!!!

    It makes me sad that uninformed seppies think we have anything to do with this…

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ayoye!!! It reminds me of:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6S-7Ap6J_FU

      or

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uo2OF2Qb7I

      Delete
    2. While I realize that many of us Habs fans are particularly verbose (boo, Flames!), I also hope that we will realize that at the same time some us also enjoy other things (hello, JBG? Cutie?). It appears there is someone here who is under the delusion that we are all enamored with American culture, which strangely made me think of this clip from Pedro Almodóvar’s “Hable con ella” (Parle avec elle/Speak to her).

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3O_1ToFIxk

      Delete
  9. OK, I’ll bite.

    A “union connector” makes a union between two things… not a syndicate-type of labour union.

    “Merry Christmas” (“Joyeux Noël”) has been translated as “Marry yourself with Christmas”… obviously, completely absurd. I wonder where this could possibly have come from and what the hell they were thinking.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Back to the story of my hairdresser - what's wrong with having a radio station that plays music in both french and english in any establishment or mall even at Christmas? After all, Bing Crosby's White Christmas is the just about, if not, the best selling song of all time, besides Happy Birthday. Don't francophones recognize it more than one of their french artists singing the same song? Must be one of my lucid moments. Now in Gatineau when I go to any mall, it is always a french radio station that is playing on the radio and that has happened due to the pressure group IF again poking their nose into the business of the mall owners. Back to Cat's point, rights and freedoms of the mall owners are being infringed upon by these language bigots.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Happy Rrrrobie Burrrrns Day to all me Scots!

    A dram of whisky and some haggis to ye all, for Auld Lang Syne!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. From another Scot Cat = same to you! Won't be having that haggis though - perhaps the whiskey.

      Delete
  12. We are all equal. We are all capable of writing good music. Thanks for the blog!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Read it and weep seppies:
    http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Henry+Aubin+avoid+losing+head+offices/7862525/story.html
    High taxes, poor infrastructure, poor medical care and political uncertainty (sovereignty) is killing us. As if we need to see it AGAIN in writing.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Sorry = Didn't see that Laurie already posted the above link in the last thread.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hope I haven't duplicated this link with anyone else. More objections to Bill 14 besides the rally on Feb 17. Way to go Mayor - hope more and more of you come forward on this = love it.

    http://www.globalmontreal.com/c%C3%B4te+st-luc+mayor+launches+website+to+rally+quebecers+against+bill+14/6442792750/story.html

    ReplyDelete
  16. hello there
    sorry but a people who are so hysterically offended by the sight or sound of the language of their country and continent are displaying some kind of psychosis and should be seeking therapy and medication...don't you think?

    ReplyDelete
  17. It's silly that in Israel they would be complaining about using English in their language, when up until a century ago, Modern Hebrew didn't exist. Eliezer Ben-Yehuda tried to revive the language that died a millenium prior by taking Biblical Hebrew and mixing it with words from languages Jewish people knew (including Russian and English) and borrowing lexical items and morphemes from Arabic. Modern Hebrew is not "pure" Hebrew, but is a rich mix of borrowings.

    Having these English words does nothing to the language, especially since this type of thing is what helped revive it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Completely agree. Being more Catholic than the Pope, frencher than the French or hebrewer than the ancient Hebrews is an obvious indication that the individual proposing such behavioral modifications seeks to compensate for something...

      The Haifa example is doubly amusing (perverse?) when we consider the demographic context of that city's twentieth-century history. Admittedly as a result of push and pull factors exploited and exacerbated both by Zionist and Arab, that town went from an Arab/Arabic-majority to a Jewish/Hebrew-majority town in the space of only a few decades.

      Let me be clear: my issue has less to do with linguistic purism in a terminological sense than it does with obsession with storefront signage. If an imperious language institute wishes to distance its speakers from the dominant, trendy, or mainstream source of a term (which in present times often happens to be English) by proposing alternatives, I can tolerate that. Languages have several registers, and synonyms have shades of meaning that both overlap with and are distinct from related terms. Even English, with its colorful history of linguistic colonization and related propensity for borrowing, has been enriched by this process. Consider cow/beef, flaxen/blond, riddle/enigma, latte/(coffee with) milk, sick/ill, and perhaps even zealot/mujaheddin; how laughable (or tragic?) would it be if the most virulent English-languages purists had their way?

      However, Yahav ups the ante by "trying to stop businesses from using only English signs to market their services". In so doing, he is no better than our own local anglophobic mandarins, for whom eradicating the language of one supposedly interloping group in favor of another language -- whose history is no less so -- is seen as righteous or even desirable. I rather appreciate the relative passivity on the matter across the border in Lebanon. (Although there too, religion sadly substitutes language protectionism, often to devastating effect...)

      This idiotic affirmation of upstart nationalism by way of petty suppression of both real or perceived threats does not impress me one bit, and in my view harms more than it helps. Are we as supposedly civilized humans living our own lives and evolving as we both individually and consensually see fit, or are we to be forever beholden to the dictates of self-styled, orthodox cultural anthropologists?

      Delete
  18. Alliance Quebec 2 has generated a board game to help in fundraising for their oranization. I have supplied the link in case you can help out by purchasing. Haven't had a chance to look at it myself yet but sounds like fun.
    http://pdfcast.org/pdf/bill-101-board-game

    ReplyDelete
  19. I saw a article of clothing labelled: "Made in Turkey" or "Fait en Dinde".

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi Cutie - You asked me "Do you see how these laws are becoming dangerous for the anglophone and allophophone communities and why we are pissed off about these sorts of issues? What about road safety and having signs in french only rather than bilingual format? Is this not also dangerous?"

    I agree entirely and I'd like to take a second to expand on my pro-regulations position.

    I agree with regulations when they mandate a minimum on positive behaviour or a maximum on negative behaviour. I don't agree with any other kind of regulations.

    The regulations which seek to limit rather than to expand the support and information and accessiblity of products are not defendable in any way or form. Furthermore, Quebec has to be one of the only areas in the world where the road signs are not bilingual to help tourists (at the very least!) and I can't see any sense in that. Make sure road signs have French on them, yes, but removing the English?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for using common sense in these matters Yannick = IF and SSJB would not agree and, unfortunately, the quebec government is putting the wants of a small group of bigots ahead of the safety of all, especially tourists.

      Delete
    2. @yannick

      "Quebec has to be one of the only areas in the world where the road signs are not bilingual to help tourists"

      false. signs are in italian in italy, french in france and spanish in spain. when they are tanslated usually it's to include local dialects, not english. you can see english signs around airports and in heavy touristic destinations, but that's it.

      quebec is not worse that anywhere else in that respect.

      of course there is more "translations" in countries that use another alphabet, mainly in asia, but obviously it would be unfair to compare with those.

      Delete
    3. "false. signs are in italian in italy, french in france and spanish in spain. when they are tanslated usually it's to include local dialects, not english. you can see english signs around airports and in heavy touristic destinations, but that's it."

      @Student - boy, what did I tell you about talking out of your ass?

      We already know you haven't traveled and seen the way the rest of the world operates, so why do you insist on bullshitting us?

      First of all, in the Charles de Gaule airport area but you also have multi-lingual signage in central Paris, Cannes and Nice , you have plenty of non-French signage.

      As for Spain, Madrid and some parts of Barcelona have bilingual (Spanish/Portuguese) signage, and as for Italy you've clearly never been to Sardinia.

      For someone who always insists on getting proof and facts, you don't seem very insistent on applying it to your own statements.

      Can someone please find me an opponent with an ounce of integrity?

      Delete
    4. He's a know-it-all little pipsqueak Resident and I'm sure you can do much more with your valuable time than pay attention to him. He's very irritating - even worse than SR, so I now totally ignore him.

      Delete
    5. Pas besoin d'être sur place pour constater Diablotin,nous possèdons un puissant outil appelé internet.Diablotin est un anglophile invétéré et irrespectueux des autres cultures.

      Delete
    6. "Diablotin est un anglophile invétéré et irrespectueux des autres cultures." says the other seppie who's never set foot out of Québec.

      Actually Cutie, what bothers me is exactly the point S.R raised - too many people think they have all the answers because of the Internet.

      I've actually walked through the streets of Madrid and seen Spanish/Portuguese signage. Didn't need no stinking Internet to do it.

      Oh yeah, one more fun fact for our untraveled friends - the southern city of Algeciras has signage in three to four languages depending on what part of it you visit (especially closer to Gibraltar).

      Delete
    7. Petit rappel pour notre ami globetrotter endiablé : Nous sommes en amérique du Nord,pas dans le Sud de l'Espagne.

      Delete
    8. @R.E.

      Joujou thinks that "Street view" is like being there !!! N'est CE pas joujou lol

      Delete
    9. @Joujou
      Donc, le sud de l’Espagne est plus évolué que l’Amérique du Nord, ..que le Québec, en tous les cas? lol

      Delete
    10. "le sud de l’Espagne est plus évolué que l’Amérique du Nord"

      Tout autant que l'est la corrida et si jamais il vous vient l'idée de trancher les couilles d'un gros porc dans votre cours arrière,prenez soin de prévenir vos voisins.

      Delete
    11. @resident evil

      "We already know you haven't traveled and seen the way the rest of the world operates..."

      what's your bad source for this certitude? or what is it that wrongly interpret to get to that conclusion?

      " (...)charles-de-gaule, (...) nice, (...) cannes, (...) madrid, (...) barcelona"

      that's what i meant by "airports and touristic destinations". so we agree here mate.

      "some parts of Barcelona have bilingual (Spanish/Portuguese) signage..."

      really? and no catalan? that's surprising.

      "...the southern city of Algeciras has signage in three to four languages."

      that's cool, but what's your point? mine was that quebec is not the only place in the world that doesn't have english signage all over to help out tourists. therefore it contrats yannick's opinion big time. and yours probably, although it's more difficult to decipher.

      Delete
    12. "We already know you haven't traveled and seen the way the rest of the world operates..."

      what's your bad source for this certitude? or what is it that wrongly interpret to get to that conclusion?

      ANSWER: Your complete and utter lack factual knowledge...but also because of statements like this one:

      really? and no catalan? that's surprising.

      ANSWER: Guess where Barcelona is champ.

      ___________________

      " (...)charles-de-gaule, (...) nice, (...) cannes, (...) madrid, (...) barcelona"

      that's what i meant by "airports and touristic destinations". so we agree here mate.

      Actually no, we don't agree on anything - those cities are no more or less touristy than Montreal and the signage extends to their suburbs where tourists are far from abundant
      ___________________

      "that's cool, but what's your point? mine was that quebec is not the only place in the world that doesn't have english signage all over to help out tourists. therefore it contrats yannick's opinion big time. and yours probably, although it's more difficult to decipher."

      I have no idea what you're trying to say there.

      "some parts of Barcelona have bilingual (Spanish/Portuguese) signage..."

      Delete
    13. Imaginez 2 secondes si on commençait à "bilinguiser" la signalisation dans notre ville.
      Certains sont plus qu'audacieux pour ne pas dire autre chose...Hmm.

      Delete
    14. « Tout autant que l'est la corrida et si jamais il vous vient l'idée de trancher les couilles d'un gros porc dans votre cours arrière, prenez soin de prévenir vos voisins. »

      Really? Maintenant on rapproche «la corrida » ? Je te conseille de ne pas entreprendre un tel sujet joujou, ce n’est pas dans ton intérêt, surtout quand on pense à la petite sale pratique de nos ‘cages à veaux’, très diffusée dans cette province d’ailleurs, pour ne pas mentionner les usines à chiots.

      Delete
    15. J'imagine que les amerlocs et les canadians sont en mesure de nous donner des leçons en matière de traitement des animaux?

      Quelles multinationales favorisent la production industrielle de viandes de boeuf et de volaille?

      Delete
    16. @resident evil

      "Your complete and utter lack factual knowledge...but also because of statements like this one: really? and no catalan? that's surprising.
      ANSWER: Guess where Barcelona is champ."

      err... barcelona is in catalonia mate. what you though was portuguese was actually catalan.

      "the signage extends to their suburbs where tourists are far from abundant..."

      really, english signage in nice's suburbs? i think that's bullshit, mate.

      "I have no idea what you're trying to say there."

      what i'm trying to say is that quebec is not one of the only places in the world that don't have widespread english signage. hence i don't agree with yannick. that's all, mate.

      Delete
    17. @Student

      You really are a piece of work.

      First - I can speak Spanish and have a functional understanding of Portuguese. Before you make another uneducated comment about the matter, I strongly recommend you stop blowing your allowance on Pepsi and McDonalds and buy yourself a ticket to Spain or France or both.

      Actually, take the plane into Paris, train it on down to the southern coast and then train it on down to the Costa Del Sol.

      Don't forget to stop in Andorra to see what the linguistic scene is over there.

      But until you do all that stop embarrassing yourself by talking about something you've never experienced and no nothing about.

      Delete
    18. « J'imagine que les amerlocs et les canadians sont en mesure de nous donner des leçons en matière de traitement des animaux? »

      Encore une fois tu n’as rien compris, et on ne parlait pas des «amerlocs». ni des « canadians ». J’ai tout simplement répondu à ton insinuation que « la corrida » est une pratique sauvage et selon toi, cela reflet de façon négative sur le sud de l'Espagne en termes d’être évoluée. Donc, avant de critiquer les autres, faut se regarder dans le miroir joujou.

      Delete
    19. Voulez-vous bien m'expliquer ce que le Québec et la Costa Del Sol ont en commun?
      Vous êtes en plein délire ou quoi?

      Delete
    20. You cannot be this dumb!

      On ne parlait pas d’avoir quoique se soit en commun, WOW, FOCUS stp, c’est toi (en premier), qui a fait référence à « la corrida », mon point, un seul : Faut pas juger les autres, depuis que nous ne sommes pas mieux.

      The end.

      Delete
    21. I'm not even joking when I say this - I seriously think S.R's already started drinking today.

      La conversation est vraiment pas difficile à suivre - Il y a certainement quelque chose d'autre...

      Delete
    22. Widespread? No. But around major tourist destinations? Yes. I know you enjoy extrapolating, but I was talking about Montreal, not Sept-Îles.

      Delete
    23. @yannick

      "I was talking about Montreal, not Sept-Îles."

      ah really? ok, i'm sorry then probably that phrase made me think you meant quebec: "Quebec has to be one of the only areas in the world where the road signs are not bilingual..."

      but if it's montreal you are talking about, here's a proof there are bilingual signs (4th picture):

      http://tinyurl.com/ajv5gpy

      might not be one of the only places signs are not bilingual now, what do you think?

      Delete
    24. True, it's not as if there are NO road signs, but many of the road signs that exist are in contravention of 101 and lots of them have been removed over the years, there used to be many more. The Editor has talked about it often in the past.

      Fun fact : In Quebec, the OQLF now requires that a town has more than 50% anglophones before they are allowed bilingual services. You literally have to be a majority to receive minority services. LOL!

      Delete
    25. Actually my bad - 101 has apparently ALWAYS required that. The madness isn't new.

      Delete
    26. @resident evil

      "Actually, take the plane into Paris, train it on down to the southern coast (...)But until you do all that stop embarrassing yourself by talking about something you've never experienced..."

      i don't get it. if i do this trip all of a sudden barcelona's not gonna be in catalonia anymore?!? wtf mate?

      Delete
    27. NO, if you do this trip I'm afraid you're still going to be retarded.

      Delete
    28. Yannick, you are being deceived by student... the photo he is referring to is of the Champlain Bridge (the busiest bridge in Canada), which is federal property and therefore requires bilingualism. One metre before or after the federal boundary, strict unilingualism applies. Those few unchanged federal signs are a sad reminder of the days when it was the norm for Quebec's road signs to be respectfully bilingual.

      As for having to be a majority to get minority services, you are right that it is completely nuts indeed. Now Lisée is trying to play “good cop” by saying the threshold should be “only” 40% rather than 50% (in contrast to 5% in Finland) and that we should all be thankful for that. Mind-boggling! It seems obvious that local municipalities are best able to determine for themselves how best to serve their local populations without having the gouvernemaman monkey on their back…

      Delete
    29. I would add a small addendum; in keeping with my philosophy of "regulations ensuring a minimum of positive behaviour are good", I can see how making it mandatory for a community with a certain minority threshold to provide minority language services would be a good thing. But in no circumstances should the government prevent a community of willingly increasing its accessibility and services.

      Delete
    30. But Yannick that is exactly what the IF, SSJB pressure groups do. They go after the city councils, the restaurants, the corner stores, the grocery stores and threaten (pressure) them to eliminate all english from their services. How do we protect ourselves from these people when our own government condones it and actually encourages it? Unfortunately, I find our organizations really timid compared to these groups and don't have a way to change that because we have no political backup of any kind including, and most negligent, the liberals. That's exactly another reason we need some politicians with some guts in this place. Oh for a guy/girl with some backbone!

      Delete
    31. Ah, one more time student tried to pull a fast one on us.

      Champlain, Cartier and Mercier Bridges are owned by the Federal Government through The Federal Bridges Corp. Ltd. Therefore, the road signs on those bridges and on the roads leading to the bridges MUST BE in both official languages. Therefore, those bilingual signs are there on the compliment of the Canadian government.

      Should those bridges are under the Province or the City, I GUARANTEE you, the bilingual signs will not be there.

      Delete
  21. Thank you very much for this heart felt post.

    Indeed, both sides have some right. And indeed both sides have some wrong. By pulling the blanket towards any extremist, exclusionary, supremacist idea, be it "pure laine" or be it "Hail to the Queen", always exacerbates the debate in Quebec politics. Aside from that, we get along just well. Most of us have no problems with anyone we ACTUALLY know, or barely anyone. Most of the problem comes from the media and the politicians. I would go so far as to say that media has failed in it's mandate.

    Language will remain forever a central part of Quebec identity. I see Quebec as a strong province that gave Canada it's bilingual nature and I am proud of it. I want bilingualism to be promoted, as a permanent solution, once again, as some may say. I just do not believe a due effort has been given to it to claim it does not work. It does. In fact, it works better. If I may permit myself, I would like to invite once again you members to join the community on my page.
    www.facebook.com/MontrealConcordiaSalus
    I dream to see the day Montreal declares official bilingualism. It is of secondary importance to me, if it will be as a separate province, part of Qc, Canada or sovereign Quebec. The important part is to seal the understanding that both linguistic communities have created what this city is today.

    P.S. I am going to read up your post on the Equality party now and let you know why I think it will be fail 2.0.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That should not be your intent when reading about the Equality Party 2.0 Natalia = If you are a federalist living in quebec, you should be reading it with the intent to support the re-establishment of equal rights and freedoms for all citizens - this is what the intent of the party is all about. None of the other parties in this province are proposing this including the liberals and this is a necessity in a free society. We've had enough of the separatists forcing these bigoted language laws down our throats for the past 40 years and I, for one, would like an equal playing field again. We are part of Canada, thank God, and I want the same constitutional rights as everyone else. No exceptions - no more "Notwithstanding" clause, no more power to quebec to control the "upstart" anglos, no more second class citizens. We have to start somewhere and this may be the time to fight back. The separatists will not stop trying to eradicate the anglos and allophones, forcing us to leave the province, so they can push their separatist agenda and rid the province of "no" votes for the next referendum. This is their only agenda and they are using us as their whipping dogs to achieve their goal. When reading about the Equality Party, resist the impulse to call it a "failure" before it even gets off the ground. Read it with an open mind and in fairness to all citizens of quebec.

      Delete
    2. @ Cutie +100, way to go Cutie !!!!!!!
      What she said !!

      Delete
    3. "I dream to see the day Montreal declares official bilingualism. It is of secondary importance to me, if it will be as a separate province, part of Qc, Canada or sovereign Quebec. The important part is to seal the understanding that both linguistic communities have created what this city is today."
      This would NEVER EVER happen in a sovereign quebec so you'd better hope that Montreal remains a part of a partitioned province of quebec that remains within Canada along with the others who vote to remain when the next referendum comes around. I wish the federal government would call the next referendum and end this on-going dispute forever. 40 years of dragging out this miserable debate is enough - let the language bigots go and we can return to a normal Canadian lifestyle with rights and freedoms for everyone!

      Delete
    4. Cutie003 writes:

      "(Montreal declaring itself officially bilingual) would NEVER EVER happen in a sovereign quebec..."

      Actually -- and the PQ really hasn't thought this through, I suspect -- the PQ's own official policy would require all of Quebec to become officially bilingual once independence is achieved. Their policy is that anglophones in an independent Quebec would enjoy all the rights and freedoms they currently enjoy as citizens of Canada.

      Well, if that's the case, all of the rights that currently attach themselves to section 91 of the BNA Act would be patriated to the jurisdiction of Quebec City under independence. And all of the section 91 powers now have official bilingualism attached to them. So, matters such as simultaneous oral translation in both official languages of all proceedings in the National Assembly and its committees as well as written translations would have to come into effect. Plus, all departments under section 91 would as well have to become officially bilingual (as well as the Official Languages Act and, particularly for consideration in this discussion, section 25 of the OLA).

      I'm sure the PQ didn't realize it but if they hold true to their word, pretty much all of Quebec -- not just Montreal! -- will have to become officially bilingual in an independent Quebec.

      And if they refused to do it, this is a slam-dunk victory for anyone that would want to challenge it in an international court.

      Delete
    5. Well Tony if what you say is true, then what the hell is all the fight about? Presuming what you say is true, and I'm no lawyer, and I've read that you are, the Equality Party definitely has this argument to make as part of their platform and which the liberals should have used long ago to settle this. Most of these politicians are lawyers by profession so why hasn't this been brought forward before? This would take all the WIND AND BS out of the platform of the separatists and the followers would see them for what they really are: deceitful and hateful liars. Out them I say! Declare English an official language of quebec, along with French, and we can all start getting our lives back together. Does anyone have the guts to do this? Haven't seen one of them admit this to date. Our federal government should be shouting this to all of quebec if we can't count on our provincial parties to do it. Someone has to take responsibility for this - right now I tend to blame the liberals because they could have been using this argument from day one.

      Delete
    6. I'm not a lawyer, Cutie003.

      Why this hasn't been brought out before, I don't know. But I suspect once the PQ realizes their boo-boo, they will redraft their position. They did it, I am sure, to assure the public and their opponents that they are tolerant, open, and will treat their minorities well in an independent Quebec. But they didn't think it through.

      Here's an example of what I mean. I came up with the following by just doing a quick search on the PQ's site:

      "Le Québec aura la responsabilité d’élaborer des partenariats féconds avec les nations autochtones, de perpétuer les droits des Québécois anglophones et aura la responsabilité et les moyens de faire rayonner au maximum la Francophonie dans les Amériques."

      From: http://pq.org/parti/programme

      If "Perpetuer les droits des Quebecois anglophones..." means what I understand it to mean, then ALL our rights will continue in an Independent Quebec, as per my discussion above.

      They've been saying this one way or another for the last 30 years.

      Delete
    7. ..of course, you can't spell "perpetuer" without "tuer"...

      :-)

      Delete
    8. Still don't get why it hasn't been brought up before but thank you - very important as far as I'm concerned but the PQ will promise anything to get what they want and then reverse course.

      Delete
    9. @Tony Kondaks Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 2:52:00 PM EST

      All joking aside, if that's the case, doesn't the next step seem to be to clarify how it is that in a hypothetical independent Quebec, the "Québécois anglophones" would have their rights "perpetuated" while in the current, here-and-now province of Quebec, they don't?

      Also,
      [...] the PQ's own official policy would require all of Quebec to become officially bilingual once independence is achieved. Their policy is that anglophones in an independent Quebec would enjoy all the rights and freedoms they currently enjoy as citizens of Canada. [...] if that's the case, all of the rights that currently attach themselves to section 91 of the BNA Act would be patriated to the jurisdiction of Quebec City under independence. And all of the section 91 powers now have official bilingualism attached to them. So, matters such as simultaneous oral translation in both official languages of all proceedings in the National Assembly and its committees as well as written translations would have to come into effect. Plus, all departments under section 91 would as well have to become officially bilingual (as well as the Official Languages Act and, particularly for consideration in this discussion, section 25 of the OLA).

      How does that square with the recent call from separatists and their nationalist "federalist" acolytes that Crown (and former Crown) Corporations be subjected to bill 101?

      It seems that if your argument is to hold any water, we wouldn't need to wait for a OUI.

      Also, the precise mechanism by which a OUI would then require that all of post-OUI Quebec become bilingual remains somewhat elusive to me.

      Delete
    10. You obviously put it more eloquently than I, but that is what I'm trying to say. If the separatists want another referendum to take place strictly based on what they now preach, that french is the only language, their followers obviously have to be made to realize that the new country of quebec would be bilingual. Then what would be their reason to remove quebec from Canada other than culture alone and we're so similar in culture that that would be totally a no win feature of their platform. After all, we celebrate mainly the same holidays, religions, work patterns, music, etc. that there would be no justification except perhaps monetary and anyone with one working brain cell can see we're better off as a country financially than going it alone. They are still trying to push 101 on federal institutions just because these buildings are in quebec but quebec is still part of Canada so it's stupid, to say the least, that they should have to follow provincial bills in federal buildings. Again, I agree with you, we don't have to wait for a "yes" vote to declare quebec bilingual - as I stated previously, the liberal party has had plenty of opportunity to bring this up and change things for the better the many times they have been in office. That's why we need a new federalist provincial party that can bring these matters to the forefront and if the separatists still want a vote on independence, it will be based on the points you raised above and not on matters of language which is only misleading the separatist die-hards. Again, they want their cake and eat it too.

      Delete
  22. I find hilarious and contradictory that this blog still refers to people who are not Caucasian as "ethnic"...as if the language divide ran parallel to racial lines. I am Caucasian, born in South American to an Anglo Canadian father and an a bilingual (Dutch-French) Belgian mother, speak four languages fluidly and find the use of that term as racist and offensive as when the Quebecois call themselves "quebecois de souche" as a way to distinguish themselves from those who are not of French descent. Since when is the English language or speaking English a race? or a characteristic of restricted to Caucasians? Doesn't the discrimination of English speakers by Quebec laws and society is equally shared by all those who speak English regardless of their racial background?...What about a Moroccan who speak fluent French or a Lebanese who speaks French as well, would the be Franco or still "ethnic" ?...what about some from the Caribbean who speaks English as first language...would he/she be considered "ethnic" or Anglo?...quite frankly, this blog has seem to have the same racist overtone that François Lisée used during the campaign last summer and the same overtones of the political discourse of the PQ.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bernard asks:

      "Since when is the English language or speaking English a race?"

      Ever since the Quebec legislature found it necessary to segregate us into two separate and distinct civil rights categories by using a procedure of discrimination used in traditional race laws to do so.

      I refer, of course, to the language of education provisions of Bill 101, backed up by section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

      The procedure of discrimination employed is virtually the same as the main part of the Indian Act (adjudicated as a "race law" from the Supreme Court on down) and, in parts, word for word for the now defunct Apartheid statutes of South Africa.

      If you have a problem with it, Bernard, complain to the Quebec and Canadian governments.

      Delete
  23. Are you related to Jean-Marie De Koninck

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sandy McTireFriday, January 25, 2013 at 9:02:00 PM EST

      This thread of comments is dead. But ED, your suggestions that Montreal was the "industrial capital of North America" at 12:42 am and then "the industrial capital of the world" at 12:00 pm are totally false. Please, don't make up facts.

      Delete
  24. FROM ED
    Why do you call me a liar. It should be obvious that I meant to say Montreal wasthe industrial capital of North America, which it was. No other city in the U.S.or canada had the activity we had during the 50' and 60's. Manufacturing, Art, Importing and exporting. Shipping, railroads, transports, Military bases. Textile industries, papertmills, hydro power to spare, steel mills. Also building ships and planes.
    You are the most egotistical blowhard I've ever heard from. It's obvious you are against ageism, you treat mr. Sauga, Cutie aand myself like we don't belong on ythis blog or anywhere else. Actually, because of people like you who guess the facts because you weren't there to see them the blog needs us to clarify the lies of people like you and Rene levesque. Ed

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ED, read again, I never suggested that you were a liar. Careless, yes, but not a liar. I'm sure you mean well but you don't need to overstate things to make your point.You are correct that Montreal's industrial base has declined but MTL was never, in its wildest dreams, the industrial capital of North America. Also, I do not treat you like you don't belong on this blog. In fact, I think you are a perfect fit even though you are more intemperate than some. Ageism ? ED, the first numeral in my age is a 6. I remember the 1950s very clearly, just like you. Relax, ED, I may disagree with you but I'm more on your side than not. Let's fight no more forever, ED. Cheers old man (I mean that figuratively!)

      Delete
    2. @sandy

      "I never suggested that you were a liar."

      yes you did. you urged him to stop "making up facts". that was suggesting he's a liar.

      Delete
    3. FROM ED
      I'm willing to smoke the peace pipe. The thing that bothers me about you is that you act like the blog sherriff, correcting everyone other people even though nonody elected you to the position. If you were here in the fifties you were never out of a job in spite of the men returning from overseas and the influx of immigrants from Europe. You would remember the jobs available like punch press operators, jobs that undereducated ffrancophones could learn in five minutes. You never saw a truck sitting in the yard during the day unless it was broke down. Most American cities were a one job item. Either a coal mine or auto manufacturing, cattle or some other one town thing. Even New York city was more of a bedroom community apart from refining the oilthat californians dug up. For sure no where in Canada had what we had. If the industry is all that you noticed you were not old enough to really know the fifties. Please stop reminding me of my wife; "on Apr.17, 19702, you said this now you say that." She could remember and catalogue my evrey sneeze. Ed

      Delete
    4. Student, a liar is someone who knows the truth and knowingly states the opposite. ED is not a liar. I am sure he honestly believed the truth of what he was saying. I would have been fine with something like : 'at one time Montreal was the industrial capital of Canada'. ED, I assure you that I have no interest in being a blog sherrif. But if I read something that seems to me to be wrong or more emotion than reason I may say so. You will have noticed how our sovereignist friends love to preach about "Quebec bashing". They have even managed to concoct a Wikepedia entry on the topic (now called "Anti Quebec sentiment") and they relentlessly try to edit and correct it to the point that Wikepedia prefaces the article by saying it may not be "balanced". Most of what is characterised as "Quebec bashing" is, in my view, just constructive criticism and fair comment. That simple explanation does not work, however, if you are an old fashioned ethnic nationalist working on your speech to the SSJB about the sad fate of Quebecois as the victims of the evil anglos, the ROC, etc. ED, I'm trying to be a constructive critic, not an ED or Cutie basher.

      You are correct about there being lots of jobs in MTL in the fifties. But even then, the torch had already been passed to Toronto and the Golden Horseshoe. See my earlier comment on the earlier post about the relative prosperity of Toronto vs. Montreal, if you are interested. And like you, I bemoan that fact. You will see that Michel Patrice suggests it is due to "geopolitical factors" That is obviously incorrect, in part because it dismisses with the back of a hand the social and political differences which contributed in a major way to Toronto's growth versus Quebec/Montreal. Our own Mr. Sauga is an excellent example of that point. Mississauga (now 750,000 people) is sometimes called "the city that Rene Levesque built". Sad but true. ED, I like the tobacco your smoking but it may be my turn to be insulted if you compare me to your wife. Sandy is a diminutive of Alexander. I am a male of the species.

      Delete
  25. Hey everyone...as promised, I'm doing work on the Quebec Investment Facts website:

    http://www.quebecinvestmentfacts.com/

    Please send along suggestions for pages and content as I add it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @R.E.

      Here’s something interesting from today’s Gazette

      http://www.montrealgazette.com/opinion/Letter+Lis%c3%a9e+follows+separatist+strategy/7872038/story.html

      @Everyone else

      http://www.montrealgazette.com/opinion/Macpherson+Jean+Fran%c3%a7ois+Lis%c3%a9e+hits+brick+wall/7873361/story.html

      Delete
  26. What a disgusting bunch of BS that Lisee and the PQ try to feed us. I don't think Lisee or Marois give one piece of shit about our feelings, wants, needs, desires and the appointment of him to the portfolio shows how little regard they really have for us. He has made it clear for a very long time that he doesn't like the anglos and to insult us further, tries to pretend that we are welcome in our own homes on our own territory- yippee!

    ReplyDelete
  27. This week I noticed an uptick in readers arriving from vigile.net, so no doubt NoDogsOrAnglophones was mentioned in a recent blog piece [...]

    That uptick in all likelihood can be attributed to this contribution published Tuesday by a certain Sylvain Racine.

    [...] not in a particularly flattering manner, I imagine.

    No, not particularly flattering at all. While your resident S.R pays lip service to you, Editor, by occasionally claiming that he personally finds you a lot more level-headed than most of the commentators on this site whom he considers ranting angryphones, the individual who happens to share his initials and who authored that Vigile article isn't so gracious.

    Indeed, Sylvain Racine doesn't hesitate to take a swipe at those of us posting under a pseudonym, or conflating Quebecers irritated with the linguistic nuisances of bill 101 with Richard Bain wannabes.

    An obviously insecure and reality-challenged individual, Racine advocates in that very post that lumping Italian and Greek communities into the "English-speaking Quebecer" moniker gives him acid reflux. (Lumping earlier assimilated groups like Irish and Scots into the same group as the English seems to bother him less...). He is perhaps right in that translating "English-speaking Quebecer" to "Anglo-Québécois" happens to both strip some shades of meaning while erroneously introducing others, although his palpable desire to continue committing anglicide is evidenced by his fixation on Native communities who happen to use English as well ("ça, on peut changer ça"). Whatever for?

    Racine also advocates that "we" (it's pretty clear who the divisive "nous" is, but I digress) act, pretend, make believe, collectively drink the kool-aid and willingly endorse the notion that Quebec is on its way toward independence and that all policy measures here on out should be arrived at based upon that (unassailable!) presumption. His none-too-subtle calls for ethnic French-Canadians to behave as though they form the majority of an already-realized "Québec pays", while burying their heads in the sand about the little inconveniences underlying the true linguistic and constitutional situation they're really in, will (he is certain) rally newcomers "à la majorité". (Myself partially part of this "newcomer" class and frequenting even "newer newcomers", I can tell you how rude a surprise this fellow is really in for).

    Have a read, Editor. Your blogosphere adversaries aren't about reconciliation. Racine's post provides yet more evidence that, unlike you, me, and the handful of other lucid commenters here who think we thrive best when we accommodate, live and let live, and both listen to and are moved by the other side; he -- and his crowd's fears -- are about validating the very things they detest when the shoe is on the other foot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's funny, because Racine is being lambasted in the comments for being too Anglo-friendly.

      Delete
    2. @ Apparatchik
      Thank you for the link....

      Delete
    3. Yes Yannick - I noticed that too. He sure has delusions of grandeur. Meet the new President of quebec - the only impoverished country within Canadian territory.

      Delete
    4. Yannick, you are correct about Racine being lambasted by his fellow travelers. But that's because he is much more openly anglophobic on NO DOGS than on Vigile.net. He is mild compared to some of those folks on Vigile. Personally, I love Vigile and read it almost every day. No sovereignist website or blog reassures me that Quebec will continue to be part of Canada more than Vigile, not even the excruciatingly pompous IPSO (intellectuals for sovereignty). At Vigile they are all lost in the woods and not a compass among them. None of the Vigilists appear to have had more than a five minute conversation with an Anglo Quebecois for decades. I wish some of them would drop in to NO DOGS more frequently. We need the comic relief.

      Delete
    5. You call it funny; I call it sad.

      Delete
    6. Yes, I noticed too that he is much more anglophobic here than on vigile. It seems to get him detractors on both sides, I wonder why he'd do that.

      Delete
    7. Ratings? Ego? Attention? You'd need to ask him and hope he'll give you the lowdown.

      Delete
    8. Perhaps he has ambitions for a career in politics. You can smell the foul waft of Lisee on his approach.

      Delete
    9. Aren't politicians supposed to be liked?

      Delete
    10. @Yannick not when their metier turns lucrative.

      Delete
    11. True. Then they shift into the Politics of Fear.

      Incidentally, a three-part BBC documentary discusses this very point, albeit in the context of the past decade's War on Terror. The documentary's premise

      Considering the transposition of the politics and rhetoric of the très PR and uber theatrical War on Terror onto our supposedly tamer language situation here does however merit the thought exercise. The first and especially second part of that documentary essentially articulates the fantasy, deception, and delusions that both the islamists and neoconservatives have wrapped themselves into.

      While the parallels between that subject matter and the nationalism issues in Canada might not be apparent to those who wish not to see it, I think the voice-over introduction says it best:

      In the past, politicians promised to create a better world. They had different ways of achieving this. But their power and authority came from the optimistic visions they offered to their people. Those dreams failed. And today, people have lost faith in ideologies. Increasingly, politicians are seen simply as managers of public life. But now, they have discovered a new role that restores their power and authority. Instead of delivering dreams, politicians now promise to protect us from nightmares. They say that they will rescue us from dreadful dangers that we cannot see and do not understand. And the greatest danger of all is international terrorism. A powerful and sinister network, with sleeper cells in countries across the world. A threat that needs to be fought by a war on terror. But much of this threat is a fantasy, which has been exaggerated and distorted by politicians. It's a dark illusion that has spread unquestioned through governments around the world, the security services, and the international media.

      This is a series of films about how and why that fantasy was created, and who it benefits. At the heart of the story are two groups: the American neoconservatives, and the radical Islamists. Both were idealists who were born out of the failure of the liberal dream to build a better world. And both had a very similar explanation for what caused that failure. These two groups have changed the world, but not in the way that either intended. Together, they created today's nightmare vision of a secret, organized evil that threatens the world. A fantasy that politicians then found restored their power and authority in a disillusioned age. And those with the darkest fears became the most powerful.


      Curtis might consider making a film about us. But then again, why repeat himself?

      Delete
    12. Thanks for the link, I read it as well.

      It goes beyond “sad’. All I can say is that anyone indulging in that brand of overt in-your-face-racism is no better than a Richard Bain and belongs squarely behind bars as well, as he is unfit to be among civilized human beings. What is funny is that people are often reproached, on this blog, for using terms such as Nazis and Fascists, to describe the attitude and behavior prevalent in that little insipid clique of repressed, insecure and inferior individuals that inhabits our province, but I daresay, these are sugar-coated and tame descriptions after all.

      I find it utterly repulsive to know these low lives are in our midst and that we share our space and air with such absolute contemptible pieces of crap that should have been flushed and should never have had the privilege of seeing the light of day. These, are the abortions you wish would have happened, as they bring less than nothing to the table of society.

      In acknowledging this poignant reality, I don’t think that I can actually take anything to get rid of my “acid reflux”, now or ever.

      Delete
    13. No worries. You should also be able to get your hands on the three parts of the video without much effort.

      Delete
    14. What is funny is that people are often reproached, on this blog, for using terms such as Nazis and Fascists, to describe the attitude and behavior prevalent in that little insipid clique of repressed, insecure and inferior individuals that inhabits our province, but I daresay, these are sugar-coated and tame descriptions after all.

      I find it utterly repulsive to know these low lives are in our midst and that we share our space and air with such absolute contemptible pieces of crap[...]


      Colorful language, and point taken.

      But their existence (or non-abortion, to borrow your parlance) isn't what I find most terrifying.

      Saddest and most repulsive of all, AnecTOTE, is that the Fascists, Nazis, and more recently the Islamists began their rule with elections. Sing the praises of democracy if we must. But let's not forget to acknowledge the insipid underbelly of unchecked "democratic expression of the people".

      That dichotomy is the part that scares me the most.

      Delete
    15. If you want to describe the handful of bigots on Vigile as Nazis that's one thing, my issue is when everyone who even votes PQ/QS is branded a Nazi/Fascist/KKK. Guilt by association is bullshit.

      Delete
    16. True Yannick but I think most of the federalists on this blog are referring to the Vigil.net types when we refer to separatists. I have a good friend that is a separatist and even though I disagree with her way of thinking, we are still friends and I do not consider her a fascist/Nazi. We just don't discuss politics - ever - or we would no longer be friends. 99% of the time when I refer to these people it's the ones from IF, SSJB, Vigile net. I know most separatists are not extremists but I do feel they are being hoodwinked.

      Delete
    17. Is it guilt by association or is it a condemnation of specific values promoted by those parties?

      If we take, as a starting point, that birds of a feather flock together (or if you prefer, qui se ressemble se rassemble), then how does at least electoral association with a specific party (however loose or militant) not exclude at least some endorsement of the very values being (subjectively, I agree) condemned?

      He who lives by the sword dies by the sword, or so they say; stand up for what you believe in. I myself have been criticized for holding certain values as a strong pro-bilingual federalist liberal. Remember that Louis Préfontaine himself told me that I was the ideological enemy of French in Quebec? ;-)

      People on both sides will think and say what they want, no matter how right or wrong you or I think they are.

      Delete
    18. “That dichotomy is the part that scares me the most”

      Undoubtedly, but I will think of that tomorrow; as I come to terms with what is on my plate today.

      Delete
    19. Maybe I agree that voting for a party means the endorsement of the condemned values. But the problem is, I don't believe that the SSJB and Vigile necessarily represent the values of the PQ - rather they represent its most fringe, radicalist part. I don't believe the rank-and-file PQ supporter can be condemned because of them.

      I think the problem is that the rank-and-file PQer does like Michel : not concern themselves with the details of how those ideals are being applied. That's what I get out of Michel whenever I press him about the darker sides of 101 - "I agree with the general principle, I do not bother myself with details" but the devil is in the details, and it's overall against the details that anti-101ers (present company excluded) decry.

      Speaking of which, I have to agree with you in that discussion with Préfontaine except for one thing : the idea that francophones outside Quebec are abandoning their language because they want it. I believe that it is blaming the victim. I also believe that you haven't lived it, so to tell us that we're responsible for our own problems is, dare I say, arrogant. One could just as well say that prostitution involved in sexual tourism is something desired by the prostitutes themselves, as they are the ones who choose to practice it (sexual slavery notwithstanding); it would ignore the fact that these people are simply making the best choice they can in a world that gives them few alternatives. It's the world we ought to assign blame on, not the victims.

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    20. I don't believe that the SSJB and Vigile necessarily represent the values of the PQ - rather they represent its most fringe, radicalist part.
      I suppose this is where I part ways with you philosophically.

      Le Québec est une nation.
      Le Parti Québécois a toujours milité pour sa souveraineté
      afin qu’il devienne, enfin, un jour, indépendant.

      -- Valeurs et Histoire, pq.org

      or how about this:


      Nous aurons enfin répondu à l’appel de l’histoire qui, depuis toujours, nous invite à une refondation de notre nation. Ce consentement à nous-mêmes et au bénéfice des générations futures, ce rendez-vous avec la liberté, nous vaudra de voir inscrit ce beau mot de six lettres, Québec, dans l’histoire du monde. [...]

      -- Programme
      (by the way, I invite you to read the program and take particular note of the polemical tone and language used vis-à-vis Ottawa and Canada as a whole)

      Now go read Vigile or the SSJB's site and tell me that the writers of the one can't easily be the writers of the other. These are not the fringe. These writers are the voice of PQ orthodoxy.

      I don't believe the rank-and-file PQ supporter can be condemned because of them.
      Rank and f---.... who votes PQ, Yannick? Those voters who (a) endorse its nationalist politics, (b) endorse its socially progressive bent, and particularly (c) those who endorse both. The thing with a party system is that when you vote for one party, you're essentially voting for the entire package -- even the stuff you don't necessarily agree with (or care less about).

      And the PQ continues to (at least halfheartedly) advocate secession; thus, each supporter -- even those nationalists who vote PQ but aren't really full-blown separatists -- is indeed giving that party the ability to seize upon the terrible ambiguity that one full vote of support actually entails.

      Look at September's provincial election where each party garnered roughly a third of the votes. Imagine what kind of majority PQ government we might currently have today had there not been a CAQ option (with all the ambiguity they've introduced in their own right) to not only mitigate things, but more importantly also demonstrate how much of the electorate was specifically disaffected with the previous administration versus how much genuinely wished to give the subsequent government carte blanche to kick the independence rhetoric into high gear.

      Just add parties? A poison gift, I say: look at places like Israel and Italy that need to form coalition governments to function.

      Delete
    21. I think the problem is that the rank-and-file PQer does like Michel [...]
      Michel is complacent, just like most voters of most parties are. Participatory democracy, however, calls on us to be more actively curious and engaged. In that regard, I'd say the overwhelming majority of the electorate is due for a massive civics lesson.

      [...]but the devil is in the details[...]
      I agree. Politicians are the slippery salesmen. The electorate is the unconvinced customer. We are wrong to depend only on the media to do our dirtywork for us, because while the media often have good resources, their continuing consolidation means they are more beholden to their own interests than we care to admit.

      I have to agree with you in that discussion with Préfontaine except for [...] the idea that francophones outside Quebec are abandoning their language because they want it. I believe that it is blaming the victim.
      Careful. The running theme in my comment is the rather inane (or perhaps very profound) notion that RoC francophones (and in reality speakers of any language anywhere) will abandon their language when they no longer have a desire to keep it alive. And as I've mentioned before, I believe personal will combined with functional reinforcement in the form of robust French-language institutions are among the best bulwark against language extinction.

      I also believe that you haven't lived it, so to tell us that we're responsible for our own problems is, dare I say, arrogant.
      That's where you're dead wrong. I haven't lived it as a francophone (the way you have), but I am living it as an allophone. Admittedly, the existence of a vibrant local language communities and the Internet make it somewhat easier for me to avoid language loss than it might have if I were living several decades ago, the onus is on me to keep it going (and a relevant part of who I am). I'm not a victim, I'm just entrusted with an additional responsibility some others happen not to have. The kicker? If my children and grandchildren grow up not knowing my "ancestral" languages, I don't have the luxury to pout, extort cash, and threaten to leave my wife because of her role in the "cultural genocide" on our children. (Imagine if I did? I wouldn't be considered arrogant, I'd be committed, and rightly so.)

      One could just as well say that prostitution involved in sexual tourism is something desired by the prostitutes themselves, as they are the ones who choose to practice it (sexual slavery notwithstanding)
      I have no problem with discussing the underlying social justice elements of your prostitution example, but the fact of the matter is that your prostitutes have selected from among the choices they perceived to have available to them and went with the one they thought was best, given the circumstances. We all do this on a lesser level everyday and don't consider ourselves victims; we trudge on and make the best of it. And that's what I think we should do.

      Delete
    22. Apparatchick,

      you wrote "An obviously insecure and reality-challenged individual, Racine advocates in that very post that lumping Italian and Greek communities into the "English-speaking Quebecer" moniker gives him acid reflux. (Lumping earlier assimilated groups like Irish and Scots into the same group as the English seems to bother him less...)."

      But, really, did Greeks and Italians have English as mother tongue, and if yes, since when?

      Irish and Scotish are from Old Britain and kind of already had English as language when they come to Montreal 200 years ago (about).

      Racine's strategy, open strategy, is simply to be more open to minorities instead of blaming them. Most of his text is about caring for the natives. He wrote:

      "Donc, mon changement de paradigme consiste à prendre le destin du Québec en main, agir dès aujourd’hui comme si NOUS étions la majorité du Québec pays et démontrer notre désir de vivre en paix et de respecter les autochtones et aussi les Anglo-Québécois."

      If you can't read French, use Google translate. Basically, he says that the Francos in Quebec should stop behaving like a minority in a province and already behave like the majority in a future Quebec. What's wrong with that?

      So long Quebec is a province, Anglophones form the majority in Canada. I understand you are afraid that Quebec could become a country. But don't worry, when this happens, there won't be Bill 101 left. The majority of French speaking in this eventuel country named Quebec will pass a bill to protect the English minority. Just pick a number for your Bill mate!

      Again, you just pick some part of his text to picture him the way you wanted to picture him. He has the balls to face the some of the "extremists" on Vigile and here.





      Delete
    23. You people have some nerve - a bill to protect us - ha - quebec will remain as it is or be partitioned to let the extremists have a little spot of land to call new quebec and the rest of us will be just fine remaining with Canada where we, and no one else, need a special "bill". At that point in time we will be glad to help you all pack up and get on your way to your new bankrupt country.

      Delete
    24. But, really, did Greeks and Italians have English as mother tongue, and if yes, since when? Irish and Scotish are from Old Britain and kind of already had English as language when they come to Montreal 200 years ago (about).

      You're being factually sloppy, and for that I can't condone your attempt to gloss over my attempt to remind you of a truth that happens to be inconvenient to you. Many Irish and Scottish immigrants to Canada were first-language Irish and Gaelic speakers.

      Also, by your circuitous logic, Hatians, Lebanese, and Moroccans, irrespective of their abilities in French (which are often subject to wide discrepancies), are "kind of already" French-Canadian when they came to Montreal ten or twenty years ago.

      Greeks, Italians, and many Eastern Europeans certainly picked up English as they integrated (in larger proportion) to Montreal's English-speaking communities. Why this gives you acid reflux is a mystery to me. Do you consider the Chilean, Vietnamese, or Portuguese communities who currently gravitate (or, more correctly, are legislatively coerced) toward French as not being bona fide members of Montreal's French-speaking community? Also, what do you make of the children of bill 101 who affiliate more with the English-language community, or vice-versa, when "old-stock anglo" children attend French school and assimilate into the latter community? From my read of your emotionally-tainted screed, it certainly sounds like you're adopting a worrying deux-poids-deux-mesures attitude about the matter. And that should worry you more than it does mme.

      Racine's strategy, open strategy, is simply to be more open to minorities instead of blaming them. Most of his text is about caring for the natives.
      Two-fifths of his text is about the natives. Sixty percent of it is about how to further marginalize and circumscribe the use of English in Quebec. That presupposes that English usage has not yet been marginalized to your liking. The overall militantly anglophobic choice of wording in the remainder of the article betrays the author's clearly francosupremacist position.

      Delete
    25. If you can't read French, use Google translate.
      Don't patronize me, you separatist moron. If you can't stand reality, go the fuck back to France. But before that, check out my numerous French contributions on this and many other sites. Then you'll realize I am the real deal and that my English and French are better than yours.

      Basically, he says that the Francos in Quebec should stop behaving like a minority in a province and already behave like the majority in a future Quebec.
      Do you read French? He starts from a self-serving conclusion ([...]alors nous allons partir de l’idée que maintenant le Québec va devenir un pays[...]) and uses it to come up with a slew of additional self-serving conditions:
      - [...]il y aura aussi une limite à parler d’Anglo-Québécois[...]
      - [...]on parle aussi des premières nations, qui à mon sens sont aussi, même plus importantes que les Anglo-Québécois [...] (there are just over 70 000 first nations people in Quebec)
      - Ce qui est intéressant, c’est d’aller constater que les Mohawks eux-même ne semble pas se soucier beaucoup de leur langue. Sur le site Akwesasne.ca [...] (so it's up to the French-Canadians to tell the Mohawks what language to speak and make portals in?!)
      - il est important de préparer le Québec à devenir un pays. Dans les villes et régions du territoire actuel du Québec nous devons avoir une stratégie en ce sens. (Again, whatever for? Support for separatism hovers around 30% and we need to hurry up and vote OUI because less than one in 3 want it?)
      - again:

      Delete
  28. Perhaps S.R. does take a glass of wine now and then. But those testosterone shots you take before you post, Resident Evil, can be very harmful. Look what happened to Lance Armstrong, although like you he did get away with making up his own facts, for a while. Re European signs, particularly road signs, Student wins this little argument on points. I drive in Europe for several weeks every year and have done so for many years. Last fall I spent a month driving in Portugal and Spain. The road signs in Portugal are in Portugese and Spanish in Spain. Full stop. Yes, there are few multilingual signs at the airport in Algeceiras, where you cross into Gib. The same in the airport in Malaga, and Paris and Frankfurt but that is hardly the point of your discussion. Funny, two years ago we drove from southern France to Barcelona and back via the Pyrenees and Andorra. Road signs in France are 100% in French. During 4 days in Barcelona I do not recall seeing a single sign in Portugese, Resident Evil. But you did say only in "some areas". I must have missed them. Andorra has some multilingual signs but it is a postage stamp, smaller than the Plateau and devoted to duty free shopping so its hardly representative of Europe at large. You'll have to get out into the country a little more, Resident Evil, when you travel. There is a lot more to see out there than airports and train stations

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    1. Aren't we embarking on a slippery slope?

      For one thing, comparisons can be as good or as faulty as we choose to accept them to be.

      Consider this:
      1. Portugal and Spain are actual countries. Quebec is not. (This is getting tiring to repeat but no less true.)
      2. Wanna argue that Quebec is a province and in Canada road signs are a mostly provincial competence? New Brunswick's highway signs are practically all bilingual. (Kudos for efforts, however slow, to take this to the municipal level)
      3. The governing authority (province, government, etc.) puts up highway signs exclusively in the language of the majority? Consider:
      - Italy
      - Israel
      - several Asian jurisdictions
      - specific parts of Ontario

      I'm sick of these exclusivist, moralistic it's-okay-we're-making-an-affirmative-political-statement-by-posting-in-the-"official"-language arguments I'm hearing.

      Delete
    2. @Sandy

      "The road signs in Portugal are in Portugese and Spanish in Spain. Full stop."

      Never been to Portugal, Madrid's as far west as I got, but I stand by what I wrote. There was Spanish/Portuguese signage in the area I was hanging out in (namely close by the Estación del Norte). Madrid had even more of it.

      "Road signs in France are 100% in French"

      With the exception of STOP of course, but when I was talking about French/Parisian signage in Europe, I wasn't just referring to the road.

      "Andorra has some multilingual signs but it is a postage stamp, smaller than the Plateau and devoted to duty free shopping so its hardly representative of Europe at large."

      Still on a far better track than what the Mario Beaulieus of Quebec have in mind.

      "You'll have to get out into the country a little more, Resident Evil, when you travel. There is a lot more to see out there than airports and train stations."

      Really? Well perhaps you'll have to do a little less driving, get out of your car a little more often, and actually check out what's going on in those cities you drive through.

      Delete
    3. Resident Evil, I can’t be certain of course but the language you are referring to may actually have been Galician, the language of northwestern Spain and a close relative of Portuguese. Of course, your point about allowing a diversity of languages still stands…

      Delete
    4. Thanks for that, Cat.

      Hey did you put your cursor on the map in that Wiki page? It's a GIF image that shows you the evolution of the language, which I thought was pretty awesome.

      Like I said in my original post, my Portuguese is only functional at best, so when I saw the table in the link you included: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galician_language#Dialects I can see where I might have confused the two.

      But here's the point: even if this is right, we're still seeing an example of two dialects being put to work.

      Delete
    5. Apparatchik, you are correct re a slippery slope if you mean it is really not that important. Personally, it makes no difference to me.The PQ folks love that stuff. No doubt you are aware that our former provincial parks are now "National" Parks and there is signage near Quebec City stating its the "National" capital. I don't really care, myself. Its all purely symbolic and if it makes some people happier, big deal. This is not a hill to die on. And as we all know, its happening in a place that is still 100% part of Canada.

      Resident Evil, I hate to quibble, but stop is an official word in French. Check your Petit Robert. And re Madrid, I have spent a lot of time there. In my experience they like english speakers in Spain far more than they do in France. One small example is the Prado. In my humble opinion its the finest art museum in the world, head and shoulders above the Louvre. And 95% of the signs on the paintings are in Spanish and English. Check out Portugal if you have the chance. Its beautiful and the people are very friendly and open to english speakers. One reason, of course, is that Wellington kicked the evil and cruel french armies of Napoleon out of their country and they have a long memory.

      Delete
    6. L'Espagne devrait plutôt être reconnaissante envers la France pour leurs efforts à leur maintenir la tête hors de l'eau en injectant des milliards d'Euros dans l'union.

      Delete
    7. ... mais c'est pa'n toute la même affaire chez nous, diriez-vous.

      Delete
    8. Sandy McTire,

      Drive South on Autoroute 15 and cross over to Interstate 87. From Champlain to Albany many of the signs on the highway are bilingual English / French. If Quebec practice is to be followed, should all the signs not ONLY be in English?

      Delete
  29. This blog has a certain je ne sais quoi about it. Editor, besides this blog, what is your raison d'etre? I suppose you're not going to answer. Oh well, c'est la vie! I would call this comment my piece de resistance, wouldn't you say? To all those who disagree, I say "en garde!"

    Editor, you said that "Language will always be an issue, such is our destiny in Quebec." Think about it though, was language really an issue before the rise of separatism? I think it's more likely for somewhere to return to the good ol' days than for it to change completely, isn't it? Maybe this whole separatism thing is just a phase that will eventually fade away, like other movements have in times past.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe this whole separatism thing is just a phase that will eventually fade away, like other movements have in times past.

      It has. The problem is that extreme separatist and extreme anglos, both groups not lacking in chauvinist elements, seek to live in the trappings of a two hundred year-old struggle that in the past two centuries has all but whittled away.

      There are (still) those who claim we are not free because we are (still) dominated by another nation, despite the fact that our former pastoral organization and successive constitutional framework (much maligned in the past half century) were together, ironically, the best guarantors of our cultural survival.

      Case in point:

      "In the Imperial Parliament, tories, whigs, and radicals, seem equally determined to shut their eyes to the fact, that the true cause of the rebellion is an almost universal impatience of "foreign" dominion in the hearts of La Grande Nation Canadienne. So far from reprobating or discerning this rebellious feeling, most of the parliamentary speakers appear anxious to find other and better motives even for the actual leaders of the insurgents, and to be almost as liberal of "sympathy" as the Americans themselves. If the ruling powers at home would banish this delusion from their minds they would see the fearful peril of ever again committing political power into the hands of the French Canadians"
      -- Mackenzie's Gazette, reproduced from Montreal Herald, May 5, 1838

      This argument about "foreign dominion" continues to be exploited populistically and polemically by separatist elements for whom the Parliament in Ottawa (where our province currently sends 75 MPs and 24 senators) is the same as that in 1830s London (where we sent none). The fact that they try this is sad. The fact they convince as many as they do shows that impressionable people will believe what they want to believe.

      Political power has been put in the hands of the French Canadians, and when you look at it more critically, has been since the very beginning. Ironic, isn't it, that while the separatists claim French Canadians in Quebec were never consulted about whether we wanted to join Canada, it was the French Canadian actors themselves who would go on to not only dominate decision-making in the legislature in Quebec City, but also demand, in confederation talks some thirty years later, that Canada's constitutional structure be a Federal one (the better to guarantee our (yawn) survivance)...

      But don't tell the impressionable crowd targeted by the writers at Vigile. It is an important public service to continually barrage susceptible Quebecers everywhere with compositions as alarmist as they are phantasmagorical and which detail how offended, belittled, disrespected, and insulted we should feel both individually and collectively. You would be neglecting your duty "à la nation" -- nay -- "au peuple" -- if you left Quebecers in any state of doubt.

      Delete
  30. If what Tony Kondaks says above is true and that an independent quebec would be bilingual, then we will be in the battle were supposed to be in which is to remain part of Canada or not. Let's see the separatists try to sell a bilingual independent quebec to their followers when they wield all the power over us at the present time. I can't see the federalists changing votes but it sure as hell would change a lot of separatist votes from a yes to a no in a hurry. What would be the fun if they can't see us squirm? No sport in that for the vengence seeking seppies. They would vote no just to keep the status quo. It would be so nice to have some politicians with some guts in this province.

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  31. hahaha just read on IF website that they are pissed off at Lisee for being too easy on the anglophones = wonder how he feels being harassed by the same groups as the rest of us. They even expect tourists to learn french before they visit quebec - what a bunch of nuts. It's OK for the STM worker to attack people who don't speak or refuse to speak french. Extremest much?

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    1. That's the thing with seppies - they're so big on separation that they have no qualms separating from each other first.

      Just look at what they did to Levesques, Parizeau, Landry and Boisclair when they failed?

      Let's not forget that this time last year Marois barely remained as the leader of her party.

      They're all just a bunch of blood swilling jackals.

      Delete
    2. They're all just a bunch of blood swilling jackals.

      Now that's just a tad bit strong, wouldn't you say?

      By saying stuff like that, you're making it easier for our opinion to be disregarded as radical.

      Delete
    3. Yeah, that is pretty strong. Though on an unrelated matter, I do wonder why the Editor deleted your Portuguese message.

      Delete
  32. @ Tony Kondaks “So, he chose to integrate into the English-speaking culture” very fortunate to have a choice. My parents came here in 1930 from western Ukraine. Lucky me 2 languages, dad Ukraine(Greek Ukraine Catholic), mom Polish(Roman Catholic). Learned French and English on the street, and some juicy words in other languages.

    The Montreal Catholic School Commission (Commission des écoles catholiques de Montréal, CECM) was a Roman Catholic school district in Montreal, Quebec, Canada which operated both French-language and English-language schools.
    Jean-Jacques Olier was a large school building which was divided, one side, White French Canadians Roman Catholics and other Catholics(German, Hungarian, Czech ,Polish and other). Other Catholics were not permitted to in roll into the French curriculum. My parents had no choice. The fils a papa(elite) didn’t want the immigrants then nor do they want them now. Same difference Liberal, PQ, CAQ all elitist and uncle Toms can be found anywhere(money talks). In Quebec Adski has it right “class warfare”

    Bernard DeKoninck January 25, 2013, 10:22:58 PM: I find it hilarious, contradictory and insulting. If Sugar Sammy or Rachid Badouri have a child with white French Canadian ex Roman Catholic , she/he is a WHAT?

    The vocabulary (Anglo, Franco, Allo} has to change. I would suggest we change Anglo and Allo(who are Canadian) to Canadian and Franco to Canadien(change the a to e). An immigrant will remain an immigrant. Any other suggestions! Equality 2 will have to address this problem.

    @Yannick you speak of roots; you and I have abandoned our roots and so have a few billion folks, I am told a million or is it a billion years ago, when our ancestors left Africa. During your life time your traditions will change. You are out west enjoy the Ukraine hospitality. J’ai tombre sur mon derrière quand J'ai appris que Calgary ont voté un maire(Naheed Kurban Nenshi) musulman. Already your traditions are being challenge, a good catholic having to deal with a Moslem. Welcome to the 21st century

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    1. Sorry WAC but your French is crap and you're harming the cause...

      Delete
    2. I was very glad to see Nenshi getting elected, not only is he a muslim, he's also a progressive. Way to shatter our Albertan stereotypes, Nenshi!

      I understand roots and culture change. Do you understand that there is a difference between cultures changing due to internal pressures, and changing due to mass culture from the USA?

      Delete
  33. RS Enlighten me please, missed that memo, what is “THE CAUSE”
    Yes my written French, a lot to be desired .Had to go to an English School.You know My written English is terrible too so is my spoken but I get along.
    TU manqué ou vous manquéz d’éducation. You were not being addressed.
    Must have done or said something right to get a rise out of you he he hee

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  34. Ladies and gentlemen...I present to you the future of Quebec à la saveur souvrainiste:

    http://affaires.lapresse.ca/economie/quebec/201301/26/01-4615402-les-investisseurs-a-davos-etaient-inquiets-admet-marois.php

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    1. Let's wait and see what kind of footing a 10-year tax holiday lure for corporations investing $300 million-plus (in certain sectors only) is going to garner our provincial government when the time comes to negotiate transfer payments.

      Ridiculously generous tax exemptions as an overall strategy to make ourselves look poorer on paper just so we can qualify for a bigger slice of the transfer payment pie isn't likely going to go over particularly well... domestically.

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    2. God I hope not - I find it so embarrassing already to be on the receiving end of all the money we receive from the ROC - my favourite pet peeve is the $7.00 a day daycare for everyone not just the ones who actually need it. I'm really tired of supporting everyone else's kids - daycare and now they want free tuition. I live here - I can just imagine how someone out west feels about this type of shit.

      Delete
    3. "I find it so embarrassing already..."

      Pas suffisamment semble-t-il au point de vous faire traverser la rivière pour l'ontario...Tout ne va pas si mal,je présume ;)

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  35. Important things seem to be skipped over for making easy points. Could someone pro 101 please respond to Cutie's questions?

    "Cutie003 said on Friday, January 25, 2013 at 3:27:00 PM EST

    "....
    Yannick - What about the language police now telling the pharmacy that instructions for medication and safety warnings are to be passed out in french only? Do you see how these laws are becoming dangerous for the anglophone and allophophone communities and why we are pissed off about these sorts of issues?...."

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    Replies
    1. I made an answer for that myself, what's wrong with it?

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    2. I've reread your posts for a third time, and I don't see any response to the questions I quoted. I could have missed it, and if so, please tell which one addresses the point I'm now asking about.

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    3. Thanks for the link, but you're against the application of 101 in this instance.
      I'm looking for a response from someone who would defend the actions of the OQLF.

      Delete
  36. Editor,

    You have to tell me the name of your favorite Chinese restaurant on Spadina. If you say it is good it must be good. Also, Spadina & Dundas (the Chinatown) is just steps away from my place of work.

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  37. It happens again. After the shit storm that happened with the Canadiens, now another "sports writer" call for francophone head coach for the Alouettes. If looking for francophone hockey HC is difficult, finding one for football is virtually impossible. For those who do not follow football, trust me, the three names proposed really can not hold a candle to Marc Trestman.

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    1. I guess the government will subsidize the team if they hire a french coach and they don't win a game - after all, it's only our money and having a coach that can speak french is more important than winning. Idiots.

      Delete
  38. Editor,

    Unfortunately I have to disagree with two of your points.

    In the case of Dodge, I think the company thinks that the music for that ad is appropriate with the message they are trying to convey and no equivalent French song can be used. Compare that with this Stella Artois Christmas ad. Stella Artois wants to highlight its being European. Which is fine, except that Stella Artois is brewed on the Dutch side of Belgium. Maybe Dodge has similar rationale.

    As for Christmas carols in the malls in English, I have two observations:

    First, the number of original Christmas carols in French is very limited. In fact, before I arrived in Quebec I only knew one song, Petit Papa Noel. Even after being in Quebec I can not find any original one. Vive le vent is not original as it is just a cheap imitation of Jingle Bells, just like Silent Night is an imitation of Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht.

    Second, those classic Christmas carols are part and parcel with Christmas celebration in North America, the one with mistletoe, Santa Claus, Christmas tree and candy cane (but no Jesus Christ). I can see that some may think that celebrating Christmas without those songs might not feel 'right'. That phenomenon is everywhere. Just take a walk in a mall in Singapore, Jakarta, Manila or Hong Kong.

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