Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Of Trolls and other Minutiae

I'm going to take a time out to address several issues that have been brought up in the comments section of late.

TROLLS
People keep writing me and demanding that I control negative comments written by certain readers who take offence to this web site and who believe that they can cast aspersions by denigrating us with foolish comments that are mostly boring and mostly devoid of anything redeeming.

I want to separate these trolls from those who write legitimate comments that oppose the majority view of this blog.
Too many readers confuse dissent with 'trolling' and wrongly (in my opinion) demand that they be somehow squelched.

At any rate, it isn't I who empower the trolls, it is you.
Ignore them and they will be frustrated and go away, otherwise don't complain.

One of the reasons I allow trolls to post is to remind readers in what environment we live, their insignificant and content-less missives, a testament to their mindless dogma.

Trolls are a good barometer of how much we bother French-language militants and the more we attract, the more damage I know we are inflicting.

Every now and then, trolls reveal certain nuggets of truth that offer an interesting insight into their optic.
Here is an example that proves rather telling.
In response to Monday's bog piece about the OQLF harassment of English and the effects of keeping many products and services out of Quebec, a reader noted that for many years, the Monopoly promotion wasn't offered in Quebec McDonalds restaurants.

"For several years, the Monopoly game promoted yearly by McD's was not promoted in Quebec because they didn't want to make the game pieces in French as well as the game cards"

Which elicited these two sarcastic responses;

"less mcdonald's promo? what a blessing."
"Vraiment triste :(" (Very sad)

Now these responses are telling and reveal much about how French language militants react when faced with the reality that they are missing out on North American life to some extent by exaggerating French language requirements.
The reaction is as old as the hills and was described by Aesop in the famous fable of the fox and the sour grapes written over 2,500 years ago.

And so they denigrate what they cannot have (the sour grapes.)
Of course it's easy to disparage a silly promotion in a junk food restaurant, but it is the same reaction that is trotted out when Quebecers are deprived of something more significant.
There are those who declare that anybody or any company that does not knuckle to excessive language requirements is not welcome and ultimately no great loss to Quebec and Quebecers.

And so trolls can offer insight into the mindset of French-language militants and as such, play their own role on this blog. 

That being said, I'm not defending McDonalds, there is no excuse for not respecting the French language, they certainly do enough business here to warrant the effort.
But for other businesses that isn't always the case.
There is a legitimate debate about protecting French language versus greater choice, but where that line is drawn is the issue at hand.
A company with one or two stores in Quebec (even if they have thousands of locations across North America) shouldn't be held to the same standards as a company that has hundreds of locations in Quebec.

But that is what legitimate debate is about. I cannot fault those who take the opposite view from myself.

Readers know me as someone with a particularly thick skin, criticism is part of the game and you should be aware of the venomous comments that aren't published and the hateful and threatening emails that land in my inbox frequently.
When regular readers, including so-called trolls offer a comment that violates the established standards of this blog, I censor the comment, but let readers know that I have done so by the familiar;
 "This comment has been removed by a blog administrator."
It lets the regular contributor know that the comment was deemed unacceptable and allows him/her to modify it or otherwise react.
It isn't a rebuke, call it a safety valve, that checks excessive zeal or emotion.

But comments that are hateful, cruel or obscene, from strangers to this blog, never see the light of day and the writer never gets to see his comment publicly blocked.
I can say that the regular so-called 'trolls' to this blog do not fall in this category and I cannot remember removing one of their comments in this manner.

A couple of final notes on the comment section.

BLOGGER doesn't allow me to view IP addresses and I cannot 'ban' anyone based on such information. (I wouldn't anyway)
Readers have made many suggestions and I consider them all, but understand that there are no magic solutions that will satisfy everybody.

MODERATION: I do have the option to review comments before they are published, but I cannot pick and choose who I moderate, it is all or nothing. Sometimes it would mean long delays before what you write is published, which is frustrating. My choice is to let everything be published immediately and clean up any mess later.

Tuer les tous, Dieu reconnaîtra les siens   (not Latin, but old French this time... I cannot resist!)

It is a choice I have made based on the fact that we really don't have so many abusers. Again I do not consider regular so-called 'trolls' abusers.
Some have suggested that I use a system like DIQUS to control the comments section, but the drawback is that you need a legitimate email address to participate and even with a dummy account it leads to casual commenters avoiding participating.

As for those who criticize me for not policing the comments section to their satisfaction, I can only reply that I do my best.
I want to remind readers that I am but one person with help from my wife. Sometimes people hold this amateur blog to standards that are unrealistic given the reality.
I am not a newspaper, nor a website that has contributing writers and support staff, nor a budget.

To people who don't like this blog and tell me how shitty my opinions are, all I can say is that nobody is forcing anybody to read my missives and those of our commenting community.
Just the same, we are doing pretty well and will probably hit a million pageviews in 2013, as Adam Sandler tells us... Not too shabby! for a blog that deals with a narrow subject.
By the way, when I  use the 'our' or 'we' to describe the blog, it is of course because of the comment section, that is integral to whatever success we enjoy.

Stay or leave
There are some readers who have reacted angrily that their decision to emigrate from Quebec is somehow denigrated in this blog. Not true.
The decision to leave Quebec or to stay is highly personal and giving advice to others about the issue is gratuitous at best.

For every good reason there is to leave, there are as many good reasons to stay. For those who advise Anglophones to abandon their homes, one should understand that the advice is based on the writers successful transplantation.
I have never maintained that those who left to greener pastures have 'abandoned' the linguistic fight and there have been precious few comments that have said anything like that.
I for one, remained in this province because I had a successful business, which I didn't want to abandon. I have recently retired and also see no need to leave as my friends and family are mostly here.
This story is mine, but readers who have chosen to remain have made their own choice, based on their own circumstances.
Many of you have left Quebec and have built new successful lives elsewhere.
Good on you, but everyone is entitled to live where they want to and yes, bitching about circumstances is also allowed.
The idea that Anglos who complain about linguistic persecution should just pick up and leave is not akin to walking out of a theatre because the movie sucks. It is more complicated.

One thing that I do know, is that a great proportion of those expatriates who come to this blog, do so  because Quebec is remembered fondly and remains part of who they are, this sometimes after twenty or thirty years.

Getting the message out.
Some have vented some frustration that this blog isn't making enough of a difference, a position  I heartily disagree with.
We are widely read and although it is hard to gauge the impact, at least I know we drive French language militants batty.
The newly crowned Fuehrer of vigile.net, Richard Le Hir makes it a point to remind readers every now and then what vicious and dangerous 'angryphones' populate our blog.
I take it as a badge of honour, like being called a bigot by a racist.

What can you do to contribute?
Popularize this blog by getting the message out, new readers arrive every day and mention that they had no idea we existed.

There are one or two regulars who post blog pieces to REDDIT which drives a tremendous amount of traffic.
Ironically, the latest poster to REDDIT was someone who ironically opposed my position re: the OQLF. Nonetheless, it generated  150 new pageviews.

One of the best ways to promote this blog is to comment in national newspapers like the Globe and Mail or the National Post mentioning a post in NDOA that you feel relevant to the discussion.
This also drives a lot of traffic, but I cannot do it myself as it would be somewhat unethical.

Mentioning and promoting a blog post on your Facebook or Google+ page can also help us go viral and get the message out to a wider audience, so don't let me hear that you feel frustrated because you don't know what to do to help publicize our cause.

There are many other ideas out there, but it is mostly up to you, I've done my part, now it is your turn.

80 comments:

  1. Good summary reminding us of and reinforcing your objectives.

    Now Richard Le Ear is now running vigile? I thought he abandoned separatism; besides, isn't he a Frenchman? He's not Québécois at all!

    I guess political views in Quebec change daily, or even hourly, depending which way the wind is blowing at any given time. When Le Ear was featured in the documentary Angryphone, I thought he acted benevolently and pragmatically. Oops, did the wind shift again?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FROM ED
      Mr. Sauga. "I guess political views in Quebec change daily, or even hourly, depending which way the wind is blowing at any given time."
      Do you mean like 'The Vicar Of Bray'? Ed

      Delete
    2. Exactly Sauga, people that are born outside of Canada like Le Ear should leave the faith of Quebec/Canada in our hands

      Delete
    3. Darry : I take it you don't think immigrants should be allowed to vote in Quebec separation referenda? Is that retroactive to 1995?

      Delete
    4. Yannick: It's a bit ironic, because separatists and language extremists are the ones who would rather not give rights to immigrants (and anyone who's not considered "pure laine" for that matter).
      Most of them don't even bother pretending to be politically correct about it, they'll just say it straight to your face.

      There are plenty of articles on vigile.net describing how immigrants never really integrate to our society, how they'd rather live in english and yadda yadda..

      Parizeau was honest about his views in 95 (after a *few* drinks): "money and the ethnic vote.."

      Delete
    5. It is, which is why it puzzles me when there is so much animosity towards any immigrants that go to the "wrong" (PQ/separatist) side. The 95% of immigrants who vote no? Those are just people exercising their democratic rights. The 5% who voted yes? Ungrateful traitors who should go back to their country before they tell us how to live in ours.

      Very hypocritical.

      Delete
    6. You know, I think you make an excellent point.

      I have to be honest and admit that I really don't appreciate immigrant separatists, especially those who chose to go into politics.

      They came to this great country not just for the hell of it, but probably because conditions here are much better than where they're from. So, they were accepted into this great country, and now they want to destroy it? (I realize that's not how they see it)

      My favourite example is Trois-Rivières PQ candidate, Djemila Benhabib. Here's a woman who wanted to change not only our culture and our values, but she even wanted to go as far as to force us to ignore our heritage. I'm not religious at all, but it's still part of our history and our heritage.

      You're right though, it is hypocritical. I'm not really sure what more I could say, I guess that's just how it is.

      There is a difference though, never would I want to remove the right of immigrants to vote, or to speak the language they want. I'm not so sure that someone who has just recently arrived here should be representing me though.

      I'm sorry if this sounds intolerant or insensitive, I'm just being honest.

      Delete
    7. It's a complicated and sensitive issue to be sure, but I think a bit of introspection is needed. Some states only allowed people who were born in that country to run for office, I believe. I don't think that's a good idea myself. Myself, I've decided that rights go both ways, and if we let immigrants run for MP/MLA we need to accept that we won't always like what we get. But I think that it's our job to get over it, then.

      If you consider that almost all the immigrants are on the federalist side, it seems a bit mean-spirited to complain about the handful of separatist immigrants.

      Delete
    8. Ed: This thread is getting long, but it's only thanks to the wonderful world of the 'net that I even know what the Vicar of Bray is. Can't say the analogy isn't good. It has also been said that politics makes for strange bedfellows. Compared to politics, G-d doesn't move in ways all that mysterious!

      Delete
  2. Some have suggested that I use a system like DISQUS to control the comments section, but the drawback is that you need a legitimate email address to participate and even with a dummy account it leads to casual commenters avoiding participating.

    I really wish you would explain this statement further. So what if you need a legitimate email address? In any event, there are relatively few casual commenters and anybody who has a relevant comment to make will surely jump through one single hoop in order to comment. If not, their contribution can hardly be substantial. How is it that you consider that these few casual commenters outweigh the loss of regular, serious followers of your blog due to the boorish tone of the blog comments that you seem to encourage?

    You may not believe it but displaying the message "This comment has been removed by a blog administrator" is actually a badge of honour for someone who regularly tries to test the boundaries of what you will tolerate. It does not in any way act as a "safety valve" in the way that it would with someone who only occasionally gets censored, as you naively seem to think. It simply indicates to him that he is successfully straddling the upper limit of what you consider acceptable in denigrating your blog (exactly as desired) and furthermore, it provides him with a little thrill and a chuckle to boot.

    As far as the regularly-censored are concerned, total deletion of censored comments would be far preferable to this misguided "safety valve" notion that obviously doesn't work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Editor will not be explaining himself any further. He is telling you that this is how things are going to be.

      He is telling you that if you are concerned about the detrimental effect of low-quality commenters, he is not.

      He is telling you that he is not interested in raising the bar but rather with increasing the number of pageviews.

      In other words, like it or lump it.

      Delete
  3. FROM ED
    I think there are very few Anglos that were driven out by language. The migration of the seventies
    were workers who had to go with the company they had worked for, for years. They had to protect pensions and seniority. Since the companies were driven by language they were indirectly also. I convened a reunion for past Verdun High students in 2oo6 at the Church I was in charge of. Most of them were executives in their companies having worked their way up. The hell of it is they were managers and leaders before they left here. The companies naturally took their best brains with them to organize in the new community. The income tax we've lost from these people is insurmountable. Figure it at roughly $1000.
    per year X 50,000 for 30 years. (1000 X 50,000 X 30.) Maybe someone can do a better calculation, I'm no mathmatician. Ed

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think the McDonald's comment might just show how much people can talk each other. Someone against 101 will hold it up as something irrelevant in and of itself but symptomatic of the larger problems with Quebec. Someone pro-101 will see it as one of the worst aspects of global "culture" that passed them by.

    ReplyDelete
  5. FROM ED
    EDITOR,
    Again I'm disappointed. I thought the people on this blog wanted to do somehting to help promote the English language in Quebec.
    According to what I read from you, you are asking us to write news media to promote this blog. I see this blog going nowhere. There are perhaps a half dozen serious posters the rest are arguing with trolls. I for one find it a complete waste of time to read through this crap. In your last post, two people suggested a copy should be sent to the nedia and then asked if someone else would do it.
    I call these people 'Galganov Zombies', droning on about the same old crap in between posts from the trolls. I posted my letter to the Prime Minister hoping I might get a comment as to whether others saw it as a good idea or not. NOT A WORD. They're all afraid they might be asked to actually do something besides talk. A suggestion by L.Steve prompted me to suggest a radio program by french and English like minded people speaking together
    amicably.Again NOT A WORD. In the meantime there was lots of words to the trolls.
    I can't imagine anything more useless than telling a troll he is wrong. He knows he is wrong. that's why he's there,to make you waste time talking to him.
    I'm sorry to be so down on this but I thought there
    might be hope for Quebec beginning here but I was wrong. I'm going to find some where I can be useful. I have no animosity for anyone on this blog but I'm afraid Sir, that telling people to ignore the trolls is like asking complicated to vote Liberal. Ed

    ReplyDelete
  6. Just a note Editor: - If you keep letting comments from trolls appear as commentators as much as they like, and they know this, there will come a time (if not already) whereby it is their blog and no longer an anglophone outlet to talk of ways to better our lot in life in this province. I find we are getting close to that point as of the last thread. Your blog, your business, but very tiresome having to continually scroll past 3 or 4 contributors every time I open my laptop. I fully realize that there are only you and your wife working on the blog and it's a lot of work but for it to be a worthwhile venture for everyone, you may have to block some of them at some point for the benefit of all that are federalists on here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed... although I hope you realize that, despite recent improvement, you are still the main provider of jollies for you-know-who.

      Here's another blogger's thoughts on dealing with internet trolls on her pet health blog.

      FROM: Moderating Blog Comments – Encourage Debate But Don’t Feed the Trolls
      by LORIE HUSTON, DVM on OCTOBER 25, 2012

      One of the questions I hear from fellow bloggers pretty regularly deals with moderating comments on their blog, specifically those comments that are negative. Some bloggers feel they shouldn’t delete any comments (except spam) while others feel they should remove any negative comments. Some bloggers are worried about offending their readers by deleting comments and some are even worried they are inhibiting “free speech” by removing comments.

      In the end, you the blogger must decide which approach you’re comfortable with. Here are some things to think about when making that decision though.

      Firstly, your blog belongs to you. At the end of the day, you’re the one who needs to guide where you wish your blog to go and what you wish to see posted there. Are you violating anyone’s first amendment rights by deleting negative comments? I’m not a lawyer so I can’t answer the legal question. However, newspapers and magazines do not publish all the editorial comments (i.e. “letters to the editor”) they receive. For those with an online format, some don’t even allow comments on their articles. Others post a disclaimer that says they will remove any objectionable comments (or words to that effect.)

      Should you remove all negative comments? Personally, I think negative comments have their place and I don’t automatically delete comments that do not support my position or opinion. In some cases, negative comments open the way for debate, which is a healthy thing. However, these comments are much more likely to remain on my blog if the comment is respectful and contains a logical argument. Comments that contain foul language are summarily deleted as are those that serve no purpose other than to engage in name calling.

      My primary consideration for determining whether to allow a comment to stand is whether the comment serves a purpose. In most cases, that purpose will be either starting a conversation or continuing an ongoing discussion. If that’s the case, I’ll usually let the comment stand.

      However, there’s another type of negative comment that we bloggers frequently encounter, particularly when we write about volatile subjects. These are the comments left by what are commonly called trolls. These comments are usually not difficult to recognize. They are usually hate-filled and totally “over the top.” They contain extremely distasteful ideas. These comments are always summarily deleted on my blog. Leaving them stand serves no purpose other than scaring off additional commentors. Not many people want to engage with a crazy person or risk enraging someone so obviously angry and full of hate. In my experience, the subject of feral cats attracts trolls more often than any other subject.

      Delete
    2. Should you address the negative comments on your blog? It depends. Sometimes, I’ll address the commentor directly, particularly if I feel the information they are disseminating is inaccurate or dangerous to the health of animals. In other cases, I’ll sit back and let my other readers chime in before I comment. I recognize that some topics lend themselves to passionate responses and, in some cases, there is very little chance of changing a reader’s opinion about the particular subject. Subjects that are particularly polarizing include pet food, dog training (especially the use of devices such as choke collars and shock collars), and feral cats.

      In most cases, I do try to answer comments. It’s sometimes difficult to know whether to engage a person that has a strong negative response to something you’ve written. However, most times, as long as the conversation remains civil, it’s probably okay to engage. It’s also okay to agree to disagree. You can’t expect to win everyone over to your opinion.

      The exception are the trolls. Never engage with a troll. It never ends well. These people write their offensive comments to get a rise. Engaging with these people only feeds their desire and encourages them. Take my advice; don’t feed the trolls.

      Delete
    3. Argh! Blogger ate the first part of my reply. This is what should have appeared first:

      Agreed... although I hope you realize that, despite recent improvement, you are still the main provider of jollies for you-know-who.

      Here's another blogger's thoughts on dealing with internet trolls on her pet health blog.

      FROM: Moderating Blog Comments – Encourage Debate But Don’t Feed the Trolls
      by LORIE HUSTON, DVM on OCTOBER 25, 2012

      One of the questions I hear from fellow bloggers pretty regularly deals with moderating comments on their blog, specifically those comments that are negative. Some bloggers feel they shouldn’t delete any comments (except spam) while others feel they should remove any negative comments. Some bloggers are worried about offending their readers by deleting comments and some are even worried they are inhibiting “free speech” by removing comments.

      In the end, you the blogger must decide which approach you’re comfortable with. Here are some things to think about when making that decision though.

      Firstly, your blog belongs to you. At the end of the day, you’re the one who needs to guide where you wish your blog to go and what you wish to see posted there. Are you violating anyone’s first amendment rights by deleting negative comments? I’m not a lawyer so I can’t answer the legal question. However, newspapers and magazines do not publish all the editorial comments (i.e. “letters to the editor”) they receive. For those with an online format, some don’t even allow comments on their articles. Others post a disclaimer that says they will remove any objectionable comments (or words to that effect.)

      Should you remove all negative comments? Personally, I think negative comments have their place and I don’t automatically delete comments that do not support my position or opinion. In some cases, negative comments open the way for debate, which is a healthy thing. However, these comments are much more likely to remain on my blog if the comment is respectful and contains a logical argument. Comments that contain foul language are summarily deleted as are those that serve no purpose other than to engage in name calling.

      My primary consideration for determining whether to allow a comment to stand is whether the comment serves a purpose. In most cases, that purpose will be either starting a conversation or continuing an ongoing discussion. If that’s the case, I’ll usually let the comment stand.

      However, there’s another type of negative comment that we bloggers frequently encounter, particularly when we write about volatile subjects. These are the comments left by what are commonly called trolls. These comments are usually not difficult to recognize. They are usually hate-filled and totally “over the top.” They contain extremely distasteful ideas. These comments are always summarily deleted on my blog. Leaving them stand serves no purpose other than scaring off additional commentors. Not many people want to engage with a crazy person or risk enraging someone so obviously angry and full of hate. In my experience, the subject of feral cats attracts trolls more often than any other subject.

      Delete
  7. Editor, I for one appreciate the fact that you let anyone, with any point of view, comment on this blog. Unlike sites like vigile.net, where arguments for the other side are strictly forbidden, at least here everyone can post their opinions and we can actually have a debate/discussion.
    I've always thought of the separatists / language extremists needing censorship to protect their constant manipulation of facts, and sites like this prove that point.

    I think it's important to show both sides honestly, that way people can decide for themselves, based on what they read. If anything, on this blog, the separatists are just proving our point with most of their comments.
    Lately however, the comments from the other side also seem to be leaning towards the extreme, which I find unfortunate. We're supposed to be better than them, and yet it seems that some people want us to sink to their level.

    It's too bad there aren't more contributors who are able to defend their opinions, rather than simply claiming that someone with a different point of view is a "troll".
    Cutie003: I may not always agree with what you write, but I definitely admire you for your ability to remain patient and for the fact that you actually reply to people.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. “the comments from the other side also seem to be leaning towards the extreme”
      Josef k comment”hyperbole from the other direction only lessens your argument”
      Def. Hyperbole is the use of exaggeration
      These 2 comments sound similar I would like to see an example or maybe 2 .All you are doing is leaving me hanging and not knowing what in your opinion is extreme or hyperbole.

      Delete
    2. For my part, I was referring to the continued use of words like oppression and extermination. Yes, the language laws can be stupid, absurd and Kafkaesque (hence my handle), but they do not constitute true oppression. Why then, do I know many anglophones whose varying degrees of fluency in French has not stopped them achieving success in Quebec?

      I also dismiss this type of extremist language when used by Quebec nationalists.

      Delete
    3. @Josef K. Yes I am an “OTHER” and have achieved success in a French speaking milieu. On this sight “Monday, December 17, 2012 “Letter to the Foreign Policy Association“” http://nodogsoranglophones.blogspot.ca/2012/12/letter-to-foreign-policy-association.html#comment-form
      was posted, this letter describes bill 101
      On this sight the use of both words in my option is justified
      Oppression: the exercise of authority or power in a burdensome, cruel, or unjust manner
      Extermination: to get rid of by destroying; destroy totally; extirpate
      Can you suggest any synonyms

      Delete
    4. @Josef K. - I too have used both the words in my posts and totally agree with White African Canadian - they are applicable to what is going on towards the anglophone and allophone populations in this province. This is a deliberate ethnic cleansing to ensure more "Yes" votes come the time of another referendum which will be called when they get rid of as many of us as possible. The more of us they can convince to move out of the province, the less opposition to their whole agenda of taking quebec out of Canada. That is the total and only agenda of the separatists - not language as they pretend - they use language as a tool to divide and conquer the population. They care not a whit whether this drives us to bankruptcy or civil war - the politicians are lining their pockets and have plenty in the bank to leave the day trouble erupts. Unfortunately, a lot of the population believe totally in their "cause" of language protection and fall for it hook, line and sinker. I don't even want any synonyms.

      Delete
    5. Words that are synonyms have the same meaning, I can't suggest a synonym when I disagree with the premise by which you use the word. Using words like oppression, extermination and ethnic cleansing implies a commonality with truly horrific events. Do you really believe a Bosnian in Srebrenica would recognize the policies towards anglophones as ethnic cleansing? While the complaints of the anglophone minority in Quebec are real they are too trivial to draw comparison with such horrific events where the architects are charged with a crime against humanity.

      Use whatever words you like. But ask yourself why do you laugh at and dismiss the Le Hirs and Mario Beaulieus of this world when they employ such over the top rhetoric?

      Delete
    6. Perhaps trivial to you but not to a lot of us being deprived of our freedom of choice to receive medical aid in one of the official languages of Canada. Pushing the agenda of the separatists for a "french only" province is interfering with the elderly residents, in particular, who never learned french and still reside here. This is unconscionable and should not be allowed to continue. These people are as much part of the landscape of quebec as are the francophones.

      Delete
    7. @Josef K How do “truly horrific events” begin. Slowly, one bad law at a time(bill 101), then the escalation begins, all raging fires begin with a spark. I too do not like the use of these words but in your own words “I can't suggest a synonym”. I and many on this sight do not laugh at or dismiss the Le Hirs and Mario Beaulieus of this world I find them extremely dangerous.

      Delete
    8. Absolutely agree that health care should be available and focusing on such specifics focuses the message and makes it more powerful. The point you make here is compelling.

      Still, when I say that, "I can't suggest a synonym" it is because I believe that such wording is inappropriate period and cannot be corrected through semantics.

      Here is a confession. Perhaps the biggest reason I come to this blog is to learn the latest nonsense coming from Le Hir and Mario Beaulieu which I then pass on to francophone Quebecois friends and then I can have great fun watching them squirm in disgust and embarrassment.

      Delete
  8. Baignades non mixtes dénoncées

    http://www.journaldemontreal.com/2013/01/08/baignades-non-mixtes#.UO1c4DlW0Bw.facebook

    Moi qui croyait que nous étions une société évoluée...Mais non,pas dans certains secteurs.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Augmentation de visibilité = Augmentation de "trolls".

    ReplyDelete
  10. Another form of civil disobedience: I believe we are now being unfairly taxed on our properties because a home is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. My councilman (a great guy by the way) responded that if we want a re-evaluation of our properties we have to pay for it. Isn't that wonderful? I think all property in Gatineau is now in a market glut and our tax bills are not properly reflecting the real value at all. I also asked him to clarify if these IF people are representing the government in any way or if they are strictly a bigoted language pressure group. Will post brief response when received but he was told by them that he should not have his auto reply in bilingual format, which he ignored. I will vote for him again next election!

    "Just wanted to comment on the tax bill I received yesterday which places my tax at ---- and the value at ------. Just wanted to point out that I don't think I could sell my home for that amount of money and that these tax bills are now based on an unrealistic property values. When the liberals were in power, we saw our real estate values going up each year but since the election of the PQ, real estate values have plummeted in this area and nothing is selling as you can see if you look around. The militant IF and SJBS are far from helping our cause here and our best bet would be to fight for an official NCR status to ensure the value of our homes are no longer affected by these crazy language bigots. I am requesting that these tax bills be re-evaluated in light of the real estate values assigned to our homes. I am going to send a cc of this to the mayor also because I think this affects everyone in Gatineau and has to be looked into. Would like your thoughts on this also and again I thank you for being a very diligent councilman for our area and I know you do a good job."


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cutie: It almost doesn't matter what the assessment is. If they don't play with the assessment values, they'll play with the tax rates. They're going to take what they want to take.

      Delete
    2. Well Mr. Sauga that makes me feel just f------ great - thank you. lol

      Delete
  11. Some common sense letters in today's Gazette:
    http://www.montrealgazette.com/opinion/Letter+English+service+economic+necessity/7784308/story.html

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  12. Response from Council - IF is in no way officially attached to the PQ (but we all know they will never reign them in on their harassing, bigoted agenda). Hairdresser was doing nothing wrong to have her radio station on any channel she wants - nothing in Bill 101 to cover this. Didn't think so but another reason why the PQ would pressure the feds to hand over power of communication to them - I wrote to the PM requesting that no more power of any kind be given to Quebec. He also doesn't feel that city council or any provincial government will be involved officially in making Gatineau a NCR even though it is generally considered to be one. Sure hope someone with the capability of getting this motion underway turns up on the radar soon - would love to support that as a project.

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    1. It would have been ridiculous to tell shopowners what radio stations they can or cannot listen to, but I wouldn't have put it past the OQLF.

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    2. Unfortunately that is what she was told. People are frightened to disobey what they think is the law so the seppies get away with a lot if people accept them at their word.

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    3. Next they'll be making blacks relax their hair because afros are not part of "le culture Québécoise", and jewish men will have to wear a galero instead of a yarmulke because only "les catholiques" are truly "Québécois". Then they'll have the 1984 telescreens to make sure no one speaks English or uses "les anglicismes" when they talk in their sleep. Enough is enough, when an OQLF language cop tries making up their own rules for what you can and can't do, show them to the door.

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    4. Making Gatineau part of the NCR - problematic, since the NCR is in Ontario and Gatineau is in Quebec. Jurisdiction problems right there. They get around this in the US because they had the smart idea of making the capital not part of any state.

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    5. Gatineau is in Quebec but it is still considered part of the national capital region. I've seen road signs on the outskirts of Gatineau indicating that it is part of the NCR.

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    6. @edm my great leader, head of the catholic church and his minions wear them too,colored ones,I think they denote there ranks. The empress got caught without any clothes,when she wanted to ban all relegious symbols including the yarmulke.Ignorance is bliss.This should make all those PQ hasbarat happy.

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    7. I had no idea yarmulkes were worn in catholicism as well. I probably wouldn't have learned that had you not told me. I suppose the similarities between the Abrahamic religions are more numerous than I had realised.

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    8. EDM : Technically it is called a biritta or something of the like, but it looks very much like a yarmulke. It's mostly worn by the cardinals. You might recognise it as the tiny red cap that Cardinal Richelieu has on in any popular media representation of the three musketeers.

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    9. Yannick,

      Making Gatineau part of the NCR - problematic, since the NCR is in Ontario and Gatineau is in Quebec. Jurisdiction problems right there. They get around this in the US because they had the smart idea of making the capital not part of any state.

      The Washington, DC Metropolitan Area encompasses areas in the District of Columbia and the states of Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. And they are all working together just fine. The best example is the Washington Metro that has stations in the District, Maryland and Virginia. The other example is New York City Metropolitan Area that encompasses New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

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    10. Happens to all of us Yannick - not to worry.

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  13. Richard le Hir is really annoying. Anyway why is he even talking about this issue. It is like if a Canadian went to France and started screaming Britanny and Corsica should separate. It would be not credible, I am not from the country, and would not what I am talking about.

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  14. It seems that many people are beginning to feel that this is no longer about Language. I know that it has never ever been for me, or I would have come looking for this blog ages ago. This is about the abusiveness of politicos (and their brainwashing of the populace), to deny OUR basic Rights and Freedoms; (OURS ..as in Francophones, Anglophones and Allophones) and further aggravated by past and present Federal governments who have remained indifferent and silent throughout; notwithstanding all things pertaining to language residing under provincial jurisdiction.

    I have said it and I will re-iterate, we need to adopt new rhetoric for this quandary and we need to adopt the right rhetoric. Then we will get people onside. When I hear such things like, someone suggesting to a hair salon owner that they may not be playing the RIGHT type of music on the loudspeakers of their establishment and may be fined for it, it sends me for a complete loop, AGAIN. But I guess it can’t get any worse than some random person invading your private space and the private conversation that you are having with a member of your family, out in public, and reprimanding you for not speaking the RIGHT language. That was an Aha moment and indicative that we had officially entered the Twighlight Zone in this province. That person woke up the wrong ‘dog’ that day; hence my presence on this blog. NOW DEAL WITH IT.

    Today I realize that it is our own carelessness and neglect that have gotten us here. At this point, one has to wonder if we’re one step away from legislating what music we to play on the radio in the privacy of our own homes. Or if we aren’t a-stone-throws away from having any type of communication and language media that is not disseminated in the RIGHT language outlawed. This is political fundamental extremism and must be denounced for what it is. This is not worthy of Canada, nor La belle province. By the looks of it, we are on our way to quickly becoming a Nazi State and I am not exaggerating when I make such a statement. Everyone else is… for minimizing what this is. All I can say is that perhaps now, we’ve bitten off more than we can chew by going after the big wig retailers with further restrictive language legislation. And maybe this is golden opportunity we’ve all been waiting for.

    Pour emprunter un slogan qui ce disait souvent dernièrement: « It’s enough, things must change! ».

    @ Editor, greatly appreciated your cartoon up above. LOL who knew that’s what trolls look like LOLOLOL.

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    1. “we need to adopt new rhetoric for this quandary ”YES” ”YES”
      The language that we use has to change. This business of anglo ,franco allo this words have to change other words have to be found to describe the people that oppose the pseudo nazis and there raping of notre belle PROVINCE. When you say franco you are addressing all the French Canadians, one has to be aware that there are French Canadians who are Protestant who were not admitted into the white French Canadian roman catholic school system, they speak english. When does an anglo become a franco and vis versa, when does an allo become a franco even if they are from France or one of it’s former possessions’(Vietnam, Burkina Faso) etc. An example, White French Canadian roman catholic and “other” english speaking Québécois have a baby. Child becomes perfectly bilingual. Whoa grandparents speak to child in foreign tongue, volia/ trilingual. What is this child: franco, allo, anglo. Enter tongue troopers, please use your imagination(foolish yes) but this is what is happening dans notre belle Province.
      I am on a roll today, wine is great. Thanks for reading Good night

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  15. Unfortunately I can't see any politicians with the guts to take on the task of making this area an official NCR under protection of the feds for language matters. Just because it's quebec - I'm sure it wouldn't bother the Ontario residents but to make it happen here would take some really hard nosed federalist politician and I don't see any in sight.

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  16. Just sent a nasty note to IF telling them to mind their own business and leave us to hell alone with their bigoted and nasty messages to businesses and citizens living in our area. Will wait to see if they respond but I doubt it because it was sent in english and I'm sure they will delete it without a second thought but decided to shake the bush anyway. Ass-----.

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    1. Besides their usual nonsense about French vs English, the other thing that I despise about Imperatif-francais is their effort to separate Gatineau and Ottawa. That is why I gave the example of Washington DC Metro Area that is working fine today across multiple jurisdictions.

      Imperatif-francais is rather dangerous in building public perception that working in Ottawa and living in Gatineau is somehow illegal, or at least not a 'right' thing. I think it is Gatineau that reaps the benefits of being right next to the nation's capital (and no, it is not Quebec City).

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    2. That's one of the main things that concerns me Troy - that's why I would like this to be officially a National Capital Region - it would put an end to these efforts to separate Gatineau and Ottawa. Just like in the last election with the PQ putting forward a proposal that Bill 101 be imposed into the federal buildings that exist in Gatineau. This would be devastating to the 1000s of public service employees that live in Ontario and commute to Gatineau each day to work (and they don't like it much now). Gatineau certainly does reap the benefits of being next to the National Capital but the seppies would never acknowledge that! This would be a ghost town without the public service employees. I hate the IF group - they don't give a sweet damn that this area would be nothing without the public service of Canada.

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  17. Below is the message I put on their website:

    I would like to remind you people that this area of Quebec has always gotten along just fine with citizens of both languages. You are doing nothing but causing animosity between our two founding cultures and creating hate for no good reason. If you want to continue these bigoted, antagonistic views, go to some other area of Quebec where you will be appreciated by your separatist friends and leave the rest of us to hell alone. I have lived here for 60 years as an anglophone, good friend and neighbour to everyone, paid my taxes, minded my own business but you people are out to destroy the goodwill of all who live here in harmony. Find something else to do with your time for God's sake. Leave our businesses and our francophone/anglophone friends alone to live our lives and stop trying to tell everyone how and in what language to live!

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    1. Cutie003,

      I hope that I do not offend you by this question.

      If you are really bothered by current situation, why do you not just move? I know that people have different reasons not to leave Quebec and sometimes it is just impossible to do so. But in your case, is it not just a matter of going across the river? If all of your family and friends are on the Quebec side, you do not have to miss them just by moving several kilometers across, do you?

      I ask this because I think moving between Gatineau and Ottawa is just like moving from Montreal to Brossard, the impact to one's life is minimal. Please let me know if I am wrong.

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    2. Not offended but money is the main concern as it is for most people. Can't afford even a town home at the prices they are now asking in Ottawa. That's why I keep looking for the elusive loto - lol. If I had the money, the family and a couple of friends and I would be out of here in a flash and would be glad to broadcast it on national TV that the seppies had won. Maybe if I keep bugging them they will bribe me to leave - think it'll work? - lol

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  18. Every province and territory has an official flag for its francophone minority, even "Franco-Yukonnais" and "Franco-Columbien" groups which I had never heard of. I think it's about time the anglo population of Quebec adopts its own flag. I was thinking maybe the original flag of Quebec, the blue ensign would make sense. The other proposed flags I think look too amateur in comparison to a real historic flag design that has fallen out of use since the rise of separatism.

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    1. You're right that none of the other proposals look too hot:

      http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/ca_qcang.html
      http://montrealflags.tripod.com/AngloQuebec.html

      At first, I thought it would be awkward to use an existing flag but the Wikipedia article says the blue ensign was never actually used. Then again, most anglo-Quebecers and allo-Quebecers don't have strong ties to the UK anyway so perhaps something more modern would be better, the way South Africa did away with all the old symbols and came up with a fantastic new flag.

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    2. What's up with the problems with the hospital in Montreal - only caught the tail end of the broadcast. Another french vs english thing from what I heard but don't know any details.

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    3. Not to be snotty but why do we need another flag other than the maple leaf?

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    4. Because all the other minorities have them.

      I never understood why they did to be honest. Acadia has one because it has a history and culture entirely different from French-Canadians, who have the Quebec flag for themselves. Not sure why Francophones in Ontario need their own, since they are French-Canadians like the francophones in the West. Those of Métis descent, it would make sense, but they probably have their own symbols that don't revolve around French.

      I suspect it's because they've internalised that Quebec is to be shunned and thus have to have their own individual flag that are not Québecois.

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    5. Technically, we don't "need" one but the Maple Leaf is for everybody. It might simply be fun to be able to say there is one for anglo-Quebecers too, even if it surely wouldn't be used terribly much.

      You may remember that in 2001, the North American Vexillogical Association (vexillology is the study of flags) conducted a poll on its website, asking its members and the public their opinions of flag designs in the U.S. and Canada (for state and provincial flags), identifying the best and worst flags on the continent. Guess who came in third? Quebec!
      http://www.nava.org/flag-design/survey/state-provincial-survey-2001

      If anyone ever considers trying to design a new anglo-Quebec flag, NAVA also has an interesting section called "Good Flag, Bad Flag" that points out 5 basic principles for flag design (such as no words/dates/seals, using 2-3 basic colours and so on), with examples.
      http://www.nava.org/flag-design/good-flag-bad-flag

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    6. The Cat,

      I support good flags for provinces and territories. However, I want those flags to be complement to the Canadian flag. Basically to have a sense of pride just like Texans with their Lone Star Flag and Californians with their California Republic Bear Flag.

      I was fortunate to live in Houston for several months. I could see their pride of being Texans, to the point of being a bit obnoxious. However, the pride is complementary to being Americans. So much so, that there is a saying, "American by birth, Texan by the grace of God".

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    7. I don't see what's so bad about having the union jack in the top left corner of a flag. The Acadian flag is just a star on a french tricolour, but you don't see anyone complaining. I have always and will forever continue to consider Canada and we don't need to Americanise ourselves by abandoning our ties to the Queen and the Kingdom. The maple leaf and the fleur de lys are present in the flag which, in addition to the union jack, make up the three most significant cultural apsects of anglo-Quebeckers: Anglo-Quebeckers speak English (Union jack) are proud to be Canadian (maple leuf) and live in Quebec (fleur de lys). I understand everyone has their own opinion, but I think it would be very difficult to create a new flag that represents the community better than that one.

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    8. I can't say the Acadian flag is particularly inspiring or novel, but it's been around for too long to change now. I guess it is instantly recognizable and not some intricate stupid design with a paragraph of text underneath it.

      I like the Cajun flag they have in Louisiana better.

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    9. EDM's idea is pretty sensible for a flag really :)

      The problem with the Union Jack is that wanting one makes you look like someone who pines for the colonial days. There's a reason we made away with it in our National flag, and most provinces did too. Manitoba and Ontario are the only throwbacks left who won't bury their imperial past.

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    10. I think the Blue Ensign is a beautiful flag. And the Union Jack in the upper left corner would be a plus because it would piss the seppies off just as much or even more than the Maple Leaf, LOL. We could do the same thing as Franco-Ontarians do with their communities' green and white flags, which is fly flags that are at least twice as large as all others on much higher poles.

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    11. @ Yannick,

      So the Union Jack is a colonial symbol but the fleur-de-lys isn't?

      The Quebecois - and other Francophone groups in Canada - haven't buried their imperialist past either. They use the fleur-de-lys on their flags, and it's a symbol that originated in France.

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    12. Get a load of these mindfuck flags I found on the net that come in red, blue and green!!!

      There also this rating of Canadian big city flags. I think Montreal's flag is quite nice; I'm not so crazy about Toronto's modern flag that echoes its city hall and the letter T. Ottawa's is very modern but I don't know... and I gotta say (sorry, Yannick!) that Calgary's is the worst of all.

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    13. I didn't realize that Quebec had some many different proposals for its flag over the years, including a 1920 proposal very similar to the Acadian flag but with a maple leaf. The 1936 proposal or 1962 proposal (reminiscent of the franco-Ontarian flag) might possibly serve as a template for a future design of an anglo-Quebec flag, however.

      Speaking of problems with not-very original designs, I remember seeing this video of Roch Voisine singing "Hélène" in concert probably back in 1989 or 1990 with many people in the audience waving their flag and thinking, "Holy crap! I didn't realize he was so popular in France! Oh no, wait, that's in Acadia..."

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    14. Durham : The Union Jack is the flag of Great Britain, in its entirety, sitting on the flag that's supposed to represent something else entirely. The fleur de lys is a symbol. The british equivalent would be the rose of the Tudors.

      The difference would be between placing a star reminiscing of the US, or the entire Star-Spangled Banner in the corner of the Phillipines flag.

      The Cat : Cities have terrible flags in general, I don't generally feel much attachment to them :)

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    15. Getting back to EDM's point, while I quite like the Blue Ensign and I certainly see the point about its symbolism, some of NAVA's points about good flag design (although all rules have exceptions) include that it should be able to be drawn by a child from memory and that it should be memorable (unlike, say, the majority of U.S. state flags that consist of some sort of seal on a blue background and are basically indistinguishable from one another). As there already exist approximately a gazillion varieties of the blue ensign (as well as red, white, yellow and even green ensigns), I don't think they are particularly memorable when they are viewed from a distance.

      As far as having the Union Jack in the canton goes, other places that currently use it without any imperialist inferiority complexes include Hawaii, Australia (and all six of its states), New Zealand (although there is a proposal to replace it with the silver fern flag), Bermuda, Fiji and Tuvalu (as well as UK overseas territories like Anguilla, Caymans, Falklands, etc...). And since seppies love to live in the past (hello, Patriotes flag), I presume they wouldn't see anything odd about Ontario and Manitoba not wanting to bury their historical connections either.

      Besides the Union Jack, there are many other national flags that also appear in the canton of several flags, including the Maple Leaf and the French tricolour (such as Wallis and Futuna and the old civil ensign of Morrocco... yes, I know it's long gone now).

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    16. Ideally, the anglo-Quebec flag should be something that would complement both the Canadian and Quebec flags and would look nice when displayed alongside it. Other flag designs some people may or may not be familiar with are the Canadian Duality flag from TRCF and the Unilisé.

      Something very simple with little (if any) historical baggage might be preferable to something that seeks to provide too much symbolism. Examples of flag designs that fall into the KISS category:

      Dominican Republic

      The Gambia

      Tanzania

      DR of the Congo

      Naval Jack of Estonia

      Naval Ensign of Georgia

      Naval Ensign of Latvia

      Sierra Leone

      Argentina

      Natalia Republic

      Australian Aborigines

      Naval Jack of Brazil (perhaps with maple leaves or fleurs de lys instead of stars?)

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    17. Forgive me but I'm having fun looking all of this up. For the sake of anyone who ever one day happens to Google this page while doing research on anglo-Quebec flags, let me also mention:

      South Africa updated its flag with a terrific new one in 1994 that got rid of old apartheid-era symbolism. Even though it has 6 colours, it still works very well.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa_Flag

      This year's International Congress of Vexillology in Holland also has a simple, interesting and unique flag design itself that has not been seen elsewhere.
      http://www.nfc2013.com/congress-flag.html

      And incidentally, Yannick, Newfoundland and Labrador came up with a very nice update to their historical flag (which was the Union Jack itself).
      http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/dd/Flag_of_Newfoundland_and_Labrador.svg

      So basically there are tons of interesting options available and they don't all have to be quétaine or bogged down in the past...

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    18. I don't think that it's bad to use symbolism behind the union jack and incorporate it in a wholly new design like NewFoundland's flag, I think it's bad to stick the Union jack in the upper left corner of your own flag as if it was still important to underline your role as an inferior in a empire/colony relationship. There are, actually, movements in New Zealand and Australia to change their flags but of course the relative lack of national minorities has made it less of a priority for them than it was for Canada and South Africa.

      For sure, were I an Australian or a New Zealander I would be somewhat ashamed of still flying a glorified naval flag as my national flag. Just as I'm somewhat ashamed that we are still technically a monarchy and would prefer a popularly elected head of state.

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    19. Personally, I don't see how a union jack is a sign of colonial inferiority or whatnot. Anglo Quebeckers speak English and the English language comes from the UK, and I think that that is enough of a reason to justify its usage. While I understand why you may have your views on the monarchy, I respectfully disagree.

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    20. Yannick,

      "The Union Jack is the flag of Great Britain, in its entirety, sitting on the flag that's supposed to represent something else entirely. The fleur de lys is a symbol."

      You're nitpicking. The fleur-de-lys and the English rose may be symbols but so are flags in general.

      The fleur-de-lys is still representative of the imperialistic French monarchy that initially colonized Quebec.

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    21. I disagree, but I can't make you see the difference.

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  19. Cat - you never cease to amaze me with your knowledge of so many things. Thank you.

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