Monday, January 28, 2013

Quebec's Employment Insurance Nightmare

Somewhere along the line, UI or Unemployment Insurance became the more politically correct Employment Insurance, but just the same, Quebecers haven't given up the term "chômeur" to describe being out of work or 'Assurance chômage' to describe the  government insurance plan that pays benefits related to loss of employment.

The Harper government enacted a massive reform of the system that came into effect early this month, which will have an important impact on Quebec and the Maritimes.
It targets those who repeatedly go on and off benefits, forcing them to seek alternative employment under strict new rules.
It not only seeks to get rid of freeloaders who only work long enough to become eligible for payments, and then return to the workforce to repeat the cycle over and over again, it attacks another big sector of the benefits pie, that of 'seasonal' workers, who legitimately work only part of the year, in industries like fishing or tourism that can't offer steady year-round employment.
For seasonal workers, EI benefits are less an insurance program than an income maintenance plan.

Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party was just such a worker for many years.
Ms. May said that from 1975 to 1980, she received what was then called unemployment insurance during the off-season while working as a waitress and cook at her family’s restaurant and gift shop business in Cape Breton, she says.
Labelling regular users of EI, such as herself, as lazy or abusing the system is unfair, she said.
“I paid into employment insurance. When I needed it, I used it. When I didn’t, I didn’t. I raise my personal experience because I don’t think anyone should be ashamed that seasonal businesses in this country that are big, or small, have benefited from a legal system of insurance that pays for itself....”
“I’m coming out myself and saying this was my life. If you want to say this is a wrong way to live, fine,” she said. “Let’s have that conversation....” Read the whole story
The National Post explains these changes clearly.
Read: What exactly are the changes to the Employment Insurance system?

One thing is painfully clear, the reform will affect seasonal workers in the Quebec fishing industry in the Gaspé and Îles de la Madeleine, where fishermen work about four months and remain on EI the rest of the year.
This has set off a panic in the regions affected with demonstrations protesting the new rules held in several Quebec towns.
One demonstration against these EI changes brought out 4,000 of the 14,000 residents of Îles de la Madeleine, an island in the middle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence that depends on the seasonal fishing and tourist industry to survive. Fully 40% of the workforce collects EI during the 'off' season.
One of the fears is that the changes will lead to an exodus out of the region, something that happened in Newfoundland after the failure of the fishery.

The Quebec minister responsible, Agnes Maltais, in a televised interview was absolutely furious with the Conservatives decision, going so far as calling the changes illegitimate because Ottawa never consulted Quebec.

Why is Quebec so angry?
Because those who will fall off the EI payroll may just fall onto the province's welfare role, a downloading of responsibility that Quebec doesn't want.
How much will all this cost?
Nobody knows, the Marois government hasn't even evaluated the effect of these new changes, another sad remark on its competence.

Before the election that brought Marois to power, Pauline made it an election promise to repatriate the Employment Insurance program from Ottawa to Quebec jurisdiction.
"One of the first battles that a Parti Québécois government will undertake is the return the Employment Insurance program.
On Wednesday, Pauline Marois reiterated its commitment to implement its own Québec program because it believes that the workers are not sufficiently protected.
Marois noted that the reform recently announced by the Conservative government of Stephen Harper on tightening eligibility criteria for EI makes the return
even more urgent." Link{Fr}
Not many of us, smart or dumb, will put our hand into a flame. It only takes one bad experience to understand the negative consequences.
Yes, even stupid people can learn from experience, unfortunately Pauline Marois is not one of them.

Let's go back a bit when the Quebec government of Jean Charest followed up on a longtime PQ initiative led by Pauline Marois to repatriate the parental leave program from Ottawa to Quebec jurisdiction.
When Marois was a PQ minister she promised that this eventual transfer would be paid for entirely by the repatriation of the $350 million in annual taxes that Ottawa would forgo in Quebec's favour, for taking the program off it's hands.

In 2009, Quebec's repatriated parental leave program didn't cost the $450 million (adjusted for inflation) that Marois predicted, but rather $1.7 billion, this while taking in only $1.4 billion in premiums.

Today, the cost of the parental leave program run by Quebec has skyrocketed to $1.9 billion dollars.
In the first five years of the program, premiums went up on an average of about 6% a year, but still not high enough to reach an equilibrium between revenues and expenditures.
Despite these massive increases in employer and employee contributions, the program will have accumulated a $713 million dollar deficit by the end of 2013. Link{fr}
Add to this deficit another $349 million that Quebec owes Ottawa for a loan the province made when the program was transferred to its jurisdiction. The money was used to reimburse Ottawa for furture payments owed by Ottawa to claimants that would survive the transfer.
Quebec has never paid back the loan and so has paid about $29 million to Ottawa each year in interest. Link{fr}
That puts the program's deficit to over a billion dollars since the its inception.

You'd think that the debacle would serve as a cautionary tale, but alas, no.

Which brings us to the proposed repatriation of the Employment Insurance program from Ottawa to Quebec, an idea so financially ruinous that any Quebec politician who advocates such folly, should be fitted for a straight jacket and sent to the loony bin.

Quebec with 23.9% of the Canadian population, receives about  40% of the total benefits paid out by the federal program.
In fact Quebec 'chomeurs' and 'chomeuses' receive $800 million more  each year than Quebec workers contribute to the Employment Insurance fund! Link{fr}

If Quebec takes over the program from Ottawa, it would have to double premiums paid by employers and employees just to offer the same benefits.

If as the PQ promises, that its version of EI will be more generous than Ottawa's, it could mean a tripling of premiums!
A transfer of the EI program to Quebec will cost the province close to a billion dollars a year, at a minimum and if the parental leave program is any example it could easily balloon to two billion dollars a year extra.

I'm sure if Pauline makes a formal request to Prime Minister Harper to take over the program, the Conservatives would be fine with it, unlike Pauline and the PQ, federalists can do their sums.

So where does that leave Quebec?
Well, firmly between a rock and a hard place, its only option is to lose with the present cuts or lose more by taking over the program.

Considering that Quebec has a higher percentage of seasonal workers collecting EI benefits than most other provinces, it means that up to half of all those struck from the EI rolls across Canada in relation to the proposed changes, will come from Quebec. That's quite a pill!

Aside from that, the losses will hit certain coastal regions of Quebec especially hard, Gaspé and Îles de la Madeleine where its been a way of life for a couple of generations to combine EI benefits with seasonal work.
As for alternate employment, don't hold your breath finding it in the boonies.
One of the provisions of the new rules is that workers be required to travel up to 60 miles if a job is available, and for those islanders living in Îles de la Madeleine, travelling sixty miles puts them smack dab in the middle of the waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence!

For the PQ and the Quebec government this EI debacle is a painful lose/lose situation with Quebec taking  the biggest hit of any province, by far!

One can only wonder if it isn't political payback courtesy one Stephen Harper.

Readers, is the Prime Minister that evil and conniving?


  1. Quebec benefits economically from Canada in just about every single way, doesn't it? And still, the salaries for public employees is at the bottom of the country, it's taxes the highest, the debt the highest and the services the worst.


    1. "Quebec benefits economically from Canada in just about every single way..."

      no. petro dollars don't help quebec exports at all.

      "...the debt the highest..."

      ok, but to be fair, you need to compare meaningful values. first step is to offset the liabilities by the assets. then you nned to divide by the population. so what do you get yannick?

      then, if you really want to be relevant, you check the deficit/population and the way it is trending. what about this one yannick? how does quebec compare to ontario now?

      "...and the services the worst."

      how did you come up with this one?!? isn't this a shoddy generalization yannick?

      you used to be rigorous yannick, what the hell happened?


      i agree. a basket full of shoddy prefab unfounded negative assertions is quite depressing.

    2. Watch yourself Yannick - you can see how the separatists turn on you, even when you are, many times, sympathetic to their cause.

    3. Like I told you two threads ago Student, we're done. Come back when you can make your own arguments and bring something interesting to the table, I've no desire to play the chump in your Socratic dialogue.

    4. @yannick

      all right mate. i'll practise and i'll get back to you when i can come up with such "interesting" comments like "quebec has the worst services".

    5. @cutie003

      "you can see how the separatists turn on you, even when you are, many times, sympathetic to their cause."

      that's interesting. so you wouldn't start an argument with someone you disagree with, just because this person sometimes writes things that please you? geez you have some crooked morals cutie003.

    6. If you could also stop with the "statement->extrapolation->ad hominem" technique that would also be very appreciated.

    7. @yannick

      don't you think that suggesting not to confront a bad argument because the author usually sides with you is morally questionable?

    8. I would, if I thought that's what Cutie was actually saying. I believe it's all about how the bad argument is confronted. Watching you go, I now fully understandd why they made Socrates drink the ciguë.

      When I read your questions, I'm not enlightened, rather I'm frustrated by the lengths to which you will misconstrue statements, jump to conclusions, and overall act rudely. All without venturing any statements of your own that could potentially further the discussion.

    9. Ciguë is known as the poison hemlock in English, which is what Socrates drank as a death sentence.

      I agree with Yannick, it would appear that they teach a bizarre version of the Socratic Method at UQÁM.

    10. @yannick

      "I would, if I thought that's what Cutie was actually saying."

      right. i probably misunderstood, then.

      so what do you think cutie003 meant by alluding to the fact that you have been "many times sympathetic to their cause"? why did she bring this up, if not to suggest i should not confront you on a specific thing because you can be an ally on other things?

      "I now fully understandd why they made Socrates drink the ciguë."

      you understand. do you also approve?

      "All without venturing any statements of your own that could potentially further the discussion."

      i prefer to go to the bottom of a statement before adding another layer. i like a good base. and if debunking a bad argument doesn't further a discussion, it prevents it from drifting towards a dead end. and this is quite constructive i think.

  2. Lord Dorchester

    Regardless of how idiotic and costly such a move would be on Quebec's already strained finances, the PQ's number one goal, above all else (including healthcare, debt reduction and education) is to wrest power away from Ottawa and to become an independent country. Each and every move the PQ makes is prefaced with the question, will this help "the cause"? Like leading lambs to the slaughter, the PQ has routinely shown that it is more than willing to sacrifice the economic well being of future generations by saddling them with crippling debt just to score a win in any future referendum. No one should be surprised by this, Marois was crystal clear on her strategy before the last election.

    1. Just a little remark anonymous, the biggest parts of the debt and deficits in Quebec were created by the federalists partys. And yes there are independantists in Quebec, congratulations.

  3. LOL,L,L re The Quebec minister responsible, Agnes Maltais, in a televised interview was absolutely furious with the Conservatives decision, going so far as calling the changes illegitimate because Ottawa never consulted Quebec.

    Oh, let me run to my closet and grab my Stradivarius and play a tune I'd call Agnes Maltais, Go F*** Yourself. EI is a federal program, and they didn't consult ANY province! There was a woman in rural PEI who has no car and cannot drive an hour away, so she fought back. In a case like that, I hope this woman wins big-time. For the Gaspesians and Magdalanians or whatever they're called - MOVE! No jobs? No prospects? Get the hell out of there and go where the jobs are! I did! I felt there was no hope for me in Quebec, or any jobs I may have found would be way below my capabilities. Ontario was flourishing, and French was nice to have, as opposed to being the only hope for advancement.

    If Harper is smart, he shoud have Quebec take over the EI program before the numbnuts making up the PQ change their minds, and good riddance. Let the foolhardy separatists drive another nail into their coffin. As a true, loyal Ontarian, I couldn't possibly be more pleased. Maybe the EI rates would be cut with the monkey that is the biggest burden on the program finally finally off the RoC's back!

    Like the Beatles sung, Let it Be! Harper can easily recover the $349 million by deducting it from the next equalization payments, and I don't know why the hell he doesn't do that now. Actually, it would save Quebec that $29 million of interest paid out every year. I think that's a favour to Quebec!

    In a lot of cases, it's a burden asking people to drive when they have no car or public transportation to get from home to work, but it's ridiculous to pay 8 months of EI benefits for 4 months work. If there are no jobs, leave, and that's it. One should go where the jobs are, and abandon where the jobs are not. Unfortunately, that means ghost towns, but unless something comes along to replace the lost industry, what can one do? Jobs and industries come and go, so we as people must come and where the opportunities are. THAT'S LIFE! Get on with it.

    Editor, to call this some kind of ulterior motive of Harper's is a low blow. It's not as if Quebec has been singled out, it applies everywhere in Canada, so that implication is really a non-starter!

    1. Mr. Sauga writes:

      "Harper can easily recover the $349 million by deducting it from the next equalization payments, and I don't know why the hell he doesn't do that now."

      I think it's high-time for the equalization formula (which is used to determine how much have-not provinces get in moolah every year) to be re-calibrated. And as far as I can tell, the Canadian Constitution wouldn't prevent this (the constitution, in quite ambiguous language, provides for provinces to get equalization leaving wide room for interpretation and mucking with).

      How about a formula that deducted a significant amount if a province abuses the rights and freedoms of its citizens...say, $5,000.00 a head, per year, from equalization?

      With about 650,000 census-counted anglos in Quebec, that would be about $3.25 billion deducted from the $8 billion they got last year.

      Hey, that might get some certain Quebec politicians' attention!

    2. @sauga

      "Go F*** Yourself!"

      haven't you benefited from a decent upbringing sauga? if so, when is it that you became vulgar?

      "There was a woman in rural PEI who has no car and cannot drive an hour away, so she fought back. In a case like that, I hope this woman wins big-time. For the Gaspesians and Magdalanians or whatever they're called - MOVE!"

      i don't see the difference between the gaspesian and the pei woman. why shouldn't she move where the jobs are? tell me more, mate.

      "...any jobs I may have found (in quebec) would be way below my capabilities."

      what are your capabilities mate, apart from excreting?

      " and industries come and go, so we as people must come and where the opportunities are."

      what about fishes mate? don't you like fish? what if all the fishermen move to where the jobs are?

      and what about touristic spots? if they aren't busy year round they should just shut down?!?

    3. @tony

      "How about a formula that deducted a significant amount if a province abuses the rights and freedoms of its citizens..."

      is benefiting from a clean environement a right, tony?

    4. @student
      "what are your capabilities mate, apart from excreting?"

      Thanks for turning scatological so early in the morning.

    5. Student bleated: 1) "haven't you benefited from a decent upbringing sauga? if so, when is it that you became vulgar?" and 2) "what are your capabilities mate, apart from excreting?". Evidently Student, after reading 2) the answer to 1) in your case would have to be "no".

    6. @anonymous

      "Thanks for turning scatological so early in the morning."

      excreting is not necessarily scatological. it just mean getting something out of your body. figuratively, it can even be thoughts.

    7. To answer for myself, student, I did have a very proper upbringing, so you need not be concerned. I become vulgar when those separatist numbnuts do completely irrational, idiotic things. Same when the Quebec government starts with how IT should be consulted before the federal government governs its own jurisdiction.

      Oh, yes, and the Gaspé/Magdalen Island thing: I don't know if the PEI woman was working 4 months and collecting EI for 8 months. The people in the isolated areas are freeloaders to do this, and always have been, but with so many Quebec PMs over the years, these people have become spoiled; furthermore, what favours does Harper owe Quebec? He has never had a dozen MPs elected after 3-4 elections, and the last two have been cut to half that. Former Quebec Premier John James "Goldilocks" Charest chisled $700 million from Harper earmarked for a particular program in Quebec and instead turned it into a $700 million tax break making John James "Goldilocks" Charest look like a hero - the big phoney!

      Finally, if Quebec is 40% of the easy money collectors, 60% of collectors outside Quebec, in the Real Canada, are getting hit with the new changes too!

      Tony K.: As far as I'm concerned, if we're constitutionally bound to fork over moolah to be wasted by the Quebec government for equalization, it should be maybe $1 per head, so about $8 million per year, not $8 billion.

    8. @sauga

      "I become vulgar when those separatist numbnuts do completely irrational, idiotic things."

      being vulgar diminishes the power and reach of your words.

      so maltais wishing for ottawa to talk with provinces before setting up new rules that will directly affect provincial affairs is "idiotic"? how can more dialogue be an idiotic wish mr. sauga?

      "I don't know if the PEI woman was working 4 months and collecting EI for 8 months."

      you have not a clue about it but you "still hope she wins her case big time"?!?!

      "...what favours does Harper owe Quebec?"

      well, i think he owes all canadians justice. i don't think anybody is asking for a favor here, mate. you sound like you think that he is legitimate not to hear quebec's point of view because he has just a few mp's in that province. if harper sees it this way, i think it's scandalous. and i could understand separatists to consider this a good reason to split. of course harper is not eternal, but some undecided french canadians could very well think enough is enough.

      "...making John James "Goldilocks" Charest look like a hero - the big phoney!"

      i agree, i don't think charest was really good either.

      "Finally, if Quebec is 40% of the easy money collectors, 60% of collectors outside Quebec, in the Real Canada, are getting hit with the new changes too!"

      what's your point here? obviously they are hit too. nobody said or wrote otherwise mate.

  4. The Editor writes:

    "In 2009, Quebec's repatriated parental leave program..."

    This is a bit off-topic, but an area I am interested in. Section 25 of the Official Languages Act reads:

    25. Every federal institution has the duty to ensure that, where services are provided or made available by another person or organization on its behalf, any member of the public in Canada or elsewhere can communicate with and obtain those services from that person or organization in either official language in any case where those services, if provided by the institution, would be required under this Part to be provided in either official language.

    It appears that the Parental Leave Program is being administered on behalf of the federal government by Quebec. That means that all forms of communication must be in both official languages. When I wrote to the Commissioner of Official Languages many years ago asking if this applied to signage he responded "yes". Thus, any office or agency that administers the Parental Leave Program must have bilingual signage and all official stationary and communications as well.

    I wonder if that's the case.

    I'd like to see an audit of (1) how many federal programs Quebec administers on behalf of Ottawa; and (2) how many are complying with section 25 of the OLA. Perhaps we need some "tongue troopers" to do this audit.

    1. Yes Tony an audit would be nice - I'm sure the Feds have to power to perform that audit but I don't see or hear anything from Graham Fraser. I too wrote to him and didn't even receive the courtesy of a reply. The feds are as guilty in empowering quebec as the separatists are.
      Read in the paper this morning that only half the venue was full when the candidates for liberal leader had their debate in Gatineau yesterday. Shows the lack of interest in the new leader of the party. This is also a notoriously strong liberal stronghold and shows that people have lost interest in it's same old, same old, liberal policies. They were saying that membership in the liberal party has dropped from 200,000 to 45,000 and again shows lack of interest in politics. If the Equality Party can get on the road with a good platform and strategically run members where they won't split the votes to ensure that the PQ don't get into power again, I'm sure they will have a good chance to gain a whole bunch of votes here in Gatineau. And seppies, don't bother to comment, it doesn't say that the PQ have gained strength anywhere so we don't need to hear another bunch of tripe from student or SR.

  5. I will say again - no more transfer of anything to quebec - no more power to quebec; they abuse everything and it ends up in a mess. Let's face it, no matter what the federal government did, will do, does now, quebec will object. That's all they do is complain but are totally incompetent to run any programs and why the hell are we trying to take on more debt by duplicating expenditures of the federal government. Besides, the federal government is trying to balance it's budget and if they didn't, quebec would be crying foul anyway. THERE IS NO MORE MONEY - I do feel bad for the seasonal workers but working for 4 months a year and collecting EI for 8 months makes no sense either. Wouldn't we all like to do that?

    1. "I do feel bad for the seasonal workers but working for 4 months a year and collecting EI for 8 months makes no sense either. Wouldn't we all like to do that?"

      no. i prefer working. you're the lazy type aren't you?

    2. Then get to f--- to work and do something useful

    3. @cutie003

      you're leaving me here with the impression that you would like to be paid to do nothing. is that really the case?!?

      don't forget that 70000 surfers will pass by this paragraph this month.

    4. I worked all my life for my pension you little twit - you do the same and then you can claim your pension (if your government can give you one when you all leave Canada). Pension plans in this COUNTRY ARE CONTRIBUTED TO BY ALL CANADIANS - let's see how much yours is worth when you have your own little country.

  6. Question d'emplois :

    Framestore créera 200 emplois en effets spéciaux à Montréal

    Bravo Madame Marois!

    1. That's great news, especially when we consider the thousands of high-paying jobs that have been lost under the Marois government

      Also just btw, do you think "Framestore" is going to do business in french? ;)

    2. Or Tom Cruise is going to take french lessons for a movie to be filmed in Montreal?

    3. Calling it "Entreprise" Framestore should do the job to "protect" French.

      This company based London/New York/L.A. says a French version of their recruiting website is "coming soon". I wonder who will get first dibs on jobs?

    4. Ceux qui auront les meilleurs portfolios/démos/expériences,c'est comme ça que ça fonctionne dans le domaine des multimédias et de la post production.

      D'autres questions faciles?

    5. Yes... how can a unilingual francophone read the job offers?

    6. You will stupidly answer "Google Translate"... so how will they manage a job interview? Or fit into the corporate culture?

    7. Whoops! Suddenly, no response from our smartass commenter... quelle surprise !

    8. @ RS Mon jeunneral "THE CAUSE" !!! CES QUOI?? I forget

    9. Parce que vous croyez que les postes seront affichés "in english"?...Au Québec?


  7. Take note Resident - another company to be warned about investing here. Alliance Quebec should note also.

  8. The Conservative move that impact seasonal workers will just empty out rural areas of Canada and create more ghost villages and towns. Fishing, tourism and agriculture still have an important economic impact that benefits Canada. Yet no job creation plans or alternatives for workers in those industries. Do the Conservatives want to replace workers with migrant labour from other countries? They already allowed work permits for miners from China to work in mines in BC. Its not easy to move or even beneficial for Canada for these migrant workers to move away from sparsely populated areas into the urban areas. The cost to the government in Employment insurance is smaller in comparison to the economic activity created by these seasonal workers.

    I still remember Montreal CTV and CJAD bringing in some moron economist that said that the world is a global economy and instead of governments helping workers stay in areas where jobs are not available that they should be able to go work where the jobs are in place like India and China. No mentioning of those countries being the third world, lack of worker protections and most obvious question, what about getting authorization to work in these jurisdictions. Anyway these are the kinds of economists that were allowed to be mainstream and where governments are basing their free trade policies.

    While Quebec should have comparable hours to qualify for unemployment to Ontario, because Quebecs' language policies are hampering growth. These employment insurance rule changes for seasonal workers is counterproductive.

    1. Jarry: It's moronic and very expensive to pay people to sit on their asses 8 months a year! Many people who have seasonal businesses also do other things during the off-season, unless the business makes enough to support the owner during the off-season. Unless it can be proven the tax revenues from these seasonal businesses exceeds the EI costs, it makes no sense to support these jobs. If these people don't want to work and the government is willing to pay welfare, then they can collect their welfare.

      The reality is for DECADES the Quebec Government has been playing games anyway. When way back in the day 20 weeks of work was enough to qualify for EI, the Quebec Government created make-work projects that hired provincially-paid welfare recipients for 20 weeks. The jobs would end, the laid-off workers would go on the federally-paid EI until their benefits exhausted, then back to welfare, and the cycle would start all over again...welfare, 20 weeks, EI, welfare, 20 weeks, EI,...

      What irks me to no end is we're importing immigrants to do construction and other jobs that should go to Canadians looking for jobs, but the feds have no desire to retrain. There is also the argument the EI program at one point was at a $50 billion surplus and it was Paul Martin that scooped it up into general revenues to make it look as if the Canadian government was running a surplus. That money could have been used to start retraining workers, but the Liberals are just as sneaky and crooked as any other government, so putting it all on Harper, as I stated before, is a B.S.

    2. Mr Sauga,

      If non viable industries such as agriculture and fishing didn't provide spin off economic revenue then most industrialized countries would just wipe out subsidies. That is not the case anywhere in the western world during the toughest of economic times. Even Japan still has massive agricultural subsidies. The EI use by seasonal workers is more of a subsidy to certain industries just as the example or railways and public transport. Also most of the workers like fisherman are older and there are less and less workers going into the field anyway. Fishing also supports other industries such as the fish processing plants and vessel maintenance. Fishing is hard work and one of the most dangerous jobs out there. The 4 months on the seas is not 8 hours a day of work 9-5. Many of these fishermen are on trawlers overnight for days on end. Do we average out their wages over longer periods of time to prevent them from being taxed more due to accumulated overtime, as they must work longer hours in the fishing season?

      Quebec deliberately makes language laws effecting business and ignores the effect it has on employment because of equalization and because of things like Employment insurance that has less qualifying hours for it in Quebec due to lack of available work.

      The reason I go after Harper is that on the one hand he wants to end EI for seasonal workers and with the other wants to increase the amount of temporary worker permit holders. At least with permanent resident immigrants, they have to invest in this country whether they like it or not. (IE Housing, transport, food, etc...) where as permit workers will just spend the bare minimum.

    3. @ JARRY

      You know, it is comments like these that bring new dimensions to this blog.
      Yes 'Ed,' we have to shift through a lot of crap to get to the pearls, such is life!
      I never considered the points brought forward in this comment by 'Jarry Street' and I'm happy that he or she has participated and brought to us a new and valid or debatable point of view.
      JARRY STREET, good on you!

  9. Editor said: "Readers, is the Prime Minister that evil and conniving?" Of course he is, but this is a change that is long overdue. Why should people in Ontario and the western provinces subsidize a lifestyle that we're not eligible for ourselves? Most people I know have never made an EI claim in 20, 30, even 40 years of work. Why should their premiums go to pay some fisherman to sit around for 8 months of the year, every year? EI should be treated like other types of insurance: if you're making frequent claims, your premiums should be much higher than someone who has never made a claim and seasonal workers probably shouldn't be eligible at all. We'd all like to be able to work where we want to live but the reality is that a lot of us can't. I can think of a half dozen places where I'd rather than the GTA, but for my career, I'm pretty much stuck here.

  10. Diogenes,

    I have never claimed EI in my life so far, though I am glad it is available should I need it. On the other hand I still believe that some effort should be made for such as creating summer time opportunities in the area that the seasonal workers live in. Would you rather that migrant workers be brought in from abroad, who get paid less then minimum wage, do the work and go back home, without paying a dime in taxes. Would you rather have places like rural Newfoundland die off completely and have them all move into the GTA. Right now there is low unemployment in most of Canada, all it would take is a recession effecting most urban areas in Canada to change the situation. Even a collapse in the price of commodities might take the shine off Western Canada. Would you want seasonal workers crowding into the cities then? Also I would rather have seasonal workers taking 4-8 months on EI then 12 months on Welfare.

  11. CTV News Montreal is conducting a survey asking if people think 16 year old kids should be allowed to vote in a referendum. Wonderful - they're not old enough to even drink but they can vote to split up a country. Go to the survey to cast your vote.

    1. Are you 16 years old, S.R? You sure sound like an adolescent.

    2. If they loose the next referendum, they'll probably blame it on le vote des jeunes

    3. Interesting that after being told NO, time after time, by the adults of Quebec, the racist Separatist act like a rapist who won't take NO for an answer. Now that the adults have refused them, they've got their eye on the underage school kids and know full well that the so called teachers will deliver the victims.

    4. @dave

      "...they'll probably blame it on le vote des jeunes."

      you expect young voters to vote no? why?

    5. For crying out loud student, it's a joke, an obvious jab at the "money and ethnic vote" comment from 1995 that has so angered allos in Quebec.

    6. Besides, it’s clear that the PQ hopes that by reducing the voting age, they will get impressionable youngsters to provide more yes's... and hopefully provide that +1 vote hoped for such an unpopular opinion. Why? Because the younger you are, the more carefree you can be and the less real-world experience you have.

    7. When my son was 16 (and probably myself) we didn't know if our a-- was bored or punched - what a stupid proposition - letting teens vote on something so important. Don't know if that would be a provincial call - hopefully not. The feds had better be ready to step up to the plate on some of these things or we're in for a lot of trouble caused by dishonesty and "pie in the sky" political rhetoric. Clarity Act rules must be followed: Clear question, legal voting age, clear majority - those areas that vote to leave Canada be allowed to leave and the rest of us remain Canadian. Can't wait to get this 40 year ordeal over. Bring on the next referendum - run by the Federal Government, to finally settle this ongoing torture.

    8. @yannick

      "For crying out loud student, it's a joke,..."

      ah! ok, sorry, mate. i understood the allusion, but not the humor.

    9. What happens if at the next referendum the 16 and 17 years old vote en masse for the no option?

      Are you going to ask for a recount? Are you going to say that they made an uneducated choice?

    10. @serge

      "What happens if at the next referendum the 16 and 17 years old vote en masse for the no option?"

      well the no will then probably win.

      "Are you going to ask for a recount?"

      depends how close the result is.

      "Are you going to say that they made an uneducated choice?"

      this depends on why they will have voted no.

  12. Jarry Street,
    I would argue that 8 months a year of EI is merely welfare-Lite with a different name and provider. Obviously, if an industry requires such a massive subsidy it isn't viable. How long do we do this for? It's been going on for at least 40 years with no sign of improvement that I can see and because it continues there's no incentive for change. Do we encourage kids fresh out of school to go into that line of work? At the very least we should put the brakes on new entrants to that make-work system. Unfortunately many of our social programs like EI (public funded healthcare, government defined benefit pensions are the biggest and creakiest)are unsustainable in their current form. A serious recession in Ontario and the west would show just how unsustainable these regional employment subsidies are.

    1. Public transport is not viable without a loss, do you suggest we get rid of that? Agriculture in all industrialized countries including Japan need massive subsidies. Many of the industries like fishing and agriculture are needed for national food security. Despite the nonsense libertarians spout. There is no developed economy that could have developed without government support. The 1st transcontinental railroads in the US and Canada only got built because of government support. Public transport, mandatory education, universal healthcare all contribute to our standard of living. EI for seasonal workers for necessary industries that keep the hinterland communities running.

    2. "EI for seasonal workers for necessary industries that keep the hinterland communities running."
      I see. I've been looking at it wrong all these years. I've been seeing a group of people receiving massive subsidies to give them 12 months pay for 4 months work in a non-viable industry. In reality, these people are performing a national service and I should be grateful that lowly Diogenes is allowed to contribute to their upkeep through his ever-increasing EI premiums. I'm feeling a nice warm glow now.

    3. Diogenes: My sentiments exactly!

      Sorry, Jarry, but the railroad was infrastructure, and while massive deficits were run during the building of the railroad and other infrastructure, these were INVESTMENTS in people and plant and equipment that built and expanded the economy. Public transportation is necessary to enable people to get to their jobs to earn money, pay taxes and buy goods and services.

      The objective of EI is to bridge a gap between jobs, i.e., losing one job and finding another, not pay people to work four months, sit on their asses and make zero effort to look for better work eight months until their line of work starts again, and over and over...

      People who are out of work, but able minded and bodied to work should look for work when they are out of work. Welfare should be reserved for the disabled and as a stop gap between jobs when times are tough for those able to work, but not to sit and wait for the next season. There is no investment in sitting and waiting.

      Actually, the Libertarians are not all wrong about welfare not being an investment altogether, but I do believe in EI and welfare are stabilization programs when times are tough, but except for those genuinely unable to work due to severe physical or mental disability, it should not be an intergenerationally acceptable way of life the way it is for many who simply don't want to work, especially in Quebec.

  13. UN GARS BIEN SYMPATHIQUE DE CALGARYMonday, January 28, 2013 at 1:08:00 PM EST

    A bit off topic but this Quebec EI thing is only scratching the surface of the actual issues with that province.
    Here from Calgary I will initiate a movement for Canada to have its own referendum in order to kick Quebec out of the confederation. This should be a no brainer when all the facts and figures ($$$) are laid out. That would be my greatest day: Quebec free and on its own.
    It will be simply awesome to watch the quick implosion shit show that we will all witness!!!!

    1. @Un Gars

      But please tell us how you REALLY feel!!!LOL

    2. That will be a great service to Canada Gars, and be certain to discuss the inevitable PARTITIONING of the territory, the seperation of Montreal into a new province, and the ugly tribe being driven into a little corner for their reservation.
      Long Live The New Province of Montreal!!

    3. In the past I reckoned that Anticosti Island would be a perfect place to maroon all of the Quebec sovereignists, until someone else listed Baffin Island as another option. Now I agree that Baffin Island would be a better location, since Anticosti Island is a bit too close to the civilized areas of North America and the new residents from the Quebec mainland would undoubtedly still find a way to annoy, disrupt and aggravate their neighbors.

    4. Very droll, Durham, but come on... your shrill comment is a disservice to us.

    5. Have to agree, personally I find it just as distasteful as S.R.'s "chasse aux anglouilles".

    6. It was just a tongue-in-cheek play on the separatists' incessant declaration that Anglophones should relocate/resettle in Ontario via the 401 if they don't like Quebec's language laws.

    7. BTW Yannick,

      You're exaggerating again. My statement above is a far cry from calling for a "hunt" for a group of people as S.R did, which implies violence (or even murder?).

    8. @durham

      i think your allusion to siberian goulags is much worse than s.r's jokes.

      but yannick already wrote something in that sense, so i'll let you discuss the value of your "marooning" project with him.

      no, i'm more interested in knowing when is the other time that yannick exagerated, in your opinion?

    9. Those comments here are the best proofs of the necessity of the independance of the Quebec. Dont't forget that the french nation possessed all the north-american territory from the north up to florida and that it has be stolen later by the England army by the guns.

  14. Frankly I'm surprised that the residents of Alberta aren't out on the streets protesting about the enormous sums of money being poured into the bottomless pit of Quebec, where they enjoy superior social programs, suppress the rights of fellow Anglophone Canadians, and have no appreciation at all for the assistance being received.

    1. UN GARS BIEN SYMPATHIQUE DE CALGARYMonday, January 28, 2013 at 2:18:00 PM EST

      "fellow Anglophone Canadians"
      You are being very polite in your wording!!!!!

      "have no appreciation at all for the assistance being received."

      Quebekistanis have simply no clue. Money is free. Greek style, baby!!!

    2. Street = Violence

  15. UN GARS BIEN SYMPATHIQUE DE CALGARYMonday, January 28, 2013 at 3:15:00 PM EST

    That S.R. guy is totally typical of the quebecois psyche:

    Except that the author is being 100% owned by posters there:)

    1. That's a very bizarre 5-year-old article... starting with the fact that the author conflates all Quebecers (spelled with a K) with franco-Quebecers "de souche". At least he later tried to explain himself as being "too harsh". No wonder he got pummelled.

  16. Tiens donc,M.10W30 est de retour.Alors,vous trempez toujours dans les sables bitumineux jusqu'aux genoux?

    Content d'avoir de vos nouvelles ugBSdc :)

    En passant,je ne crois pas que vous soyez réellement un collaborateur fédéraste ou un traître à votre nation.Je crois que vous êtes simplement un grand amateur de Donuts et où trouve-t-on la plus grande concentration de Donuts?

    1. S.R,

      Michel Patrice and yourself should start an organization whose purpose is to call for the elimination of any further federal transfer payments to QC that are generated by the oil sands. I think we'll see that when hell freezes over...

      There are 500 Tim Hortons locations in Quebec, which is more than you'll find in Alberta, so go stuff your face and your a#$ with some donuts!

    2. @durham

      "Michel Patrice and yourself should start an organization whose purpose is to call for the elimination of any further federal transfer payments to QC..."

      this organization exists since 1970. why duplicate, durham?

    3. I'm referring to the elimination of transfer payments while Quebec is still a province within Canada. After all, many Quebecois are opposed to the oil sands, so accepting some of the profits generated by them is a bit hypocritical, n'est-ce pas?

    4. @durham

      oh! right!

      why not after all. if a tax break is given to quebec residents that corresponds to their share of federal subsidies to tar sands industry, if a compensation is given for petrol keeping the dollar high and hurting quebec exports and if canada lets quebec sign international environment treaties like kyoto, there may be a basis for a discussion.

      but what you're suggesting, if i'm not mistaken, is quebec should continue investing in the thing and say no to the return. i don't think it makes sense durham.

  17. Unfortunately the EI system, like many entitlement programs, was overdue for an overhaule. I am not surprised that Quebec City says they want control of EI, they want control of everything - One wonders why they don't fix what they have (education comes to mind). When it comes down to brass tacks, the financial crisis of 2008 decreased revenue for all levels of government. Let's face it this is the "New Normal", we had better get used to it. All levels of government, and the population, have to adjust accordingly

  18. UN GARS BIEN SYMPATHIQUE DE CALGARYMonday, January 28, 2013 at 3:54:00 PM EST

    S.R. un vrai robineux quebekistanais!!!!!
    Je travaille dans une tour a Calgary, pas a Fort Mac, petit connard.
    Le mot "Canada" est inscrit sur mon passeport, pas "quebekistan".
    A part ca, pour tes "donuts" je ne vois aucunement une association ou un lien quelconque avec le Canada anglais. Ca doit etre une autre fraude aberrante que tu t'es fait dire et enseigner au secondaire, le loser...
    Comme quoi les bien petits quebecois sont des cruches:) Amuses-toi bien avec tes semblables....

    1. "Le mot "Canada" est inscrit sur mon passeport..."

      Et un caleçon feuille d'érable...Comme Elvis G. ?

      "Ils l'ont l'affaire les...albartains!!"


    2. UN GARS BIEN SYMPATHIQUE DE CALGARYMonday, January 28, 2013 at 4:17:00 PM EST

      J'aime vraiment tes comparaisons tres, tres stereotypees et pejoratives!!!!
      Robert Gratton est un quebecois, tout comme toi.

      T'es vraiment un simple d'esprit.
      S.R. t'es le meilleur echantillon du bien petit quebecois pour de bonnes relations publiques avec le monde exterieur... Merci pour ton service!

    3. De rien,fait plaisir...mate :)

    4. J'aime vraiment tes comparaisons tres, tres stereotypees et pejoratives!!!!

      Et du même auteur,tenez-vous bien...

      "un vrai robineux quebekistanais!!!!!"
      "Comme quoi les bien petits quebecois sont des cruches"

      C'est ti pas beau ça mes amis?

    5. UN GARS BIEN SYMPATHIQUE DE CALGARYMonday, January 28, 2013 at 4:45:00 PM EST

      Bin oui, ce sont des faits!

      Compares toi aux autres.
      La gauche tue le quebec:

    6. @ UN GARS

      That was a very interesting video. Thanks for posting it.

    7. @Un gars... you will never get a reasonable response to any of your reasonable comments by disputing S.R. (please believe those of us who have been here for years), but you will most certainly encourage him to keep providing us with his nonsensical replies. Please, do keep commenting but don't bother getting into nonsensical spats with him. Honestly, it's counterproductive.

    8. @ Un gars,
      I would like to thank you for that youtube link, it is a remarkable video. It is also understandable how young people in this province would watch it and once they are done, pack their bags, AND GET THE HELL OUTA HERE. I also understand why you are so worked up about Quebec, I think the realisation must of sent you reeling.

      Everyone should watch this video, I am reposting the link, though a little long, well worth watching. The thing that struck me most at 38:00 into the video, is when someone says, how misinformed people are in this province, and utterly clueless. This should be distributed to everyone you know!

    9. Les économistes en parlent
      Les gens instruits en parlent
      Tout le monde en parle! LOL

      Quelqu'un devrait l’afficher sur virgil…MdR

    10. “One wonders why they don't fix what they have (education comes to mind).”

      Even though Ms. Marois wore a little red square and banged pots in the streets with CLASSE last summer, sympathising and empathising with the disenfranchised, she’s singing a different tune now isn’t she? No free tuition after all. We can’t afford it ! Big Surprise !!

      One hand giveth: The other taketh away!

      I was just wondering if the students even realize how feebly they were played!!

  19. UN GARS BIEN SYMPATHIQUE DE CALGARYMonday, January 28, 2013 at 4:02:00 PM EST

    By the way.....
    Calgary versus the entire Quebec province:

    I love my life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. UN GARS BIEN SYMPATHIQUE DE CALGARYMonday, January 28, 2013 at 4:05:00 PM EST

    "The trouble now is that Canada is subsidizing a province that is not only in financial trouble, but not all that interested in fixing itself, says Claude Montmarquette, an economics professor at Université de Montréal and one of the signatories of the Bouchard manifesto. "We have a large amount of money coming from the rest of Canada and also a pass to spend a lot of money on social programs that others pay in large part for us," he says. "So why do we have to change until we hit the wall? And that's coming.""

    Quebekistan = societe de BS.

  21. UN GARS BIEN SYMPATHIQUE DE CALGARYMonday, January 28, 2013 at 4:28:00 PM EST

    L'illusion Tranquille:
    A quebecois concludes that Quebec is f@#ked...

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

  22. UN GARS BIEN SYMPATHIQUE DE CALGARYMonday, January 28, 2013 at 5:16:00 PM EST

    The best thing that ever happened in my life, "student" is the day I left quebekistan:)
    Do not worry about my childhood: it was very privileged.
    I think you have better things to do with your life right than to worry about my "original trauma" which are non existent; you see I live in perfect harmony in Calgary, far away from the daily bullshit that quebekistan is.

    1. "The best thing that ever happened in my life, "student" is the day I left quebekistan:)"

      but you keep coming back to this blog to trash talk against quebec. like sauga. there's something wierd with you guys; you're hoping that your little contribution will bring quebec closer to the collapse that you hope. it's not sane.

      if you were so happy to have left, if you were really immersed in total harmony like you pretend, i doubt you would spend even one minute bashing quebec like you do today.

      you are seeking some kind of a revenge, mate.

      that's why you have to lie down and start reminiscing.

      "Do not worry about my childhood: it was very privileged."

      what was your relation with your dad like? what's the earliest you remember from him?

      "far away from the daily bullshit that quebekistan is."

      you're not that far buddy. look! you're on a montreal based blog. and why do you call your homeland quebekistan?

    2. and you? what narcissistic wound causes you to spend your life on anglo sites desperate for our attention and approval..hmmmm?

    3. @anonymous

      "what narcissistic wound causes you to spend your life on anglo sites desperate for our attention and approval..."

      dunno, mate. you tell me. but don't we all need attention and approval anonymous?

  23. UN GARS BIEN SYMPATHIQUE DE CALGARYMonday, January 28, 2013 at 5:54:00 PM EST

    My homeland is CANADA. I like the average peasant quebecker like "student"; un vrai syndicaleux...
    BTW I do not "bash" quebec. I merely observe, read and share the actual facts about that province.
    Enjoy your cul-de-sac society, bro.

    1. @un gars

      "My homeland is CANADA."

      oh! you're not from quebec? my bad, mate, i remained under that impression, probably your french nickname induced me wrong.

      why do you write quebekistan instead of quebec?

      where did you read that

    2. @un gars

      forget the last line of my previous comment, mate.

    3. Aw... Our student the idiot does not even know that Quebec is a part of Canada.

    4. @troy

      "Our student the idiot does not even know that Quebec is a part of Canada."

      don't forget troy: you insult i win!

    5. Factual comments are being perceived as insults now? Tabarnouche!

  24. "BTW I do not "bash" quebec."


    "Here from Calgary I will initiate a movement for Canada to have its own referendum in order to kick Quebec out..."

    Probablement les effets secondaires dûs à l'inhalation de vapeurs toxiques provenants de substances fossiles.

  25. UN GARS BIEN SYMPATHIQUE DE CALGARYMonday, January 28, 2013 at 6:34:00 PM EST

    S.R. dis-nous comment va ta vie sans petrole?
    Pas d'auto?
    Tu prend pas le bus?
    Pas de tondeuse?
    Prends pas l'avion pour les vacances?
    Jamais prit le traversier de Levis a Quebec?
    Les pneus de ton bicycle sont faits avec du petrole - en partie:)
    Ton ordi est fabrique avec des ingredients de petrole...
    Fais jamais de bbq?
    Ton linge, ton stylo, ton tapis, l'isolatant de ta maison/condo/appart, les cosmetiques de ta blonde, c'est tout fait avec quoi? D'la marde???
    Tu dois bien faire pousser tes propres legumes, fruits et autres aliments car ces vivres nous sont approvisionner via camions qui consomment du petrole...
    T'es un vrai cancre, S.R. Ta vie est influencee et ton futur depend du petrole. T'es un audacieux moron.

    En passant s.v.p. depenses tes energies sur la souverainnete du quebec, j'ai hate de te voir dans 10 ans etant citoyen du Quebekistan aka Haiti-nord.

    Bon, un meeting a 17h00. Bye.

    1. Donc le monde devrait s'écrouler lorsque nous aurons extrait tout le pétrole enfouis sous terre?
      Aucun choix de trouver de nouvelles sources d'énergie propre et renouvelable.
      Pas envie que mes petits enfants soient obligés de porter un masque lorsqu'ils iront jouer à l'extérieur.

    2. @un gars

      why do you insist on calling quebec quebekistan?

      so how did the meeting go, mate? big money, eh? wow you are such a serene bigshot. and not ridicule at all!

      p.s. you insult way too much, you know? makes your posts very sad, in my opinion.

    3. @ugBSdg

      Un autre lien pour vous M.Énergie fossile:

      L'est de la Chine suffoque

    4. No need to be afraid of oil production in Quebec Mr. Greenpeace.

    5. Ce n'est pas tellement la production qui est dommageable mais sa consommation et encore pire,sa surconsommation.Jamais de smog à Montréal?

    6. Well it was pointed out that we will not become totally green overnight. We are still dependant on oil for now and will continue to be for some time, eventhough alternative energy is becoming more available. While these alternative energies are being developed, why shouldn't Quebec profit from it? Listen to the show, you may find it very eye opening.

  26. The Editor mentioned the parental leave in Quebec. I wrote in this blog before that my take home pay here in Toronto is considerably higher than what I earned in Quebec even though my annual gross salaries are not that much different between here and there.

    Looking at my pay stubs, these are the major differences: provincial income tax and QPIP. While we all know that Quebec income tax is the highest in the continent, QPIP is another factor that is seldom mentioned. As I do not have any plan to take any parental leave, I am glad that I am now freed from this QPIP burden.

    1. "As I do not have any plan to take any parental leave, I am glad that I am now freed from this QPIP burden."

      dude you are very selfish.

    2. Hypothetical question Troy, do you think that social services in general should only be approached that way? Surely people who don't use them must support those who do; if people who do need them could pay for them themselves, then the social service would be entirely superfluous, wouldn't it?

      I seem to remember that you mentioned that Quebec's daycare system was a godsend to you when you had just arrived in Quebec. If you were potentially planning on having children, would you still be against the parental leave program?

    3. Yannick,

      After some reflection, I guess my way of thinking does change as our life situation changes. Having written that, one thing does not change. My acting in my self interest. I guess student's line above is an exception of his being an idiot. I may be selfish indeed.

      I really do not know how my POV would be were I in a position where I did expect to take parental leave. I am just happy that I am here and I do not have to pay QPIP anymore. For the same self-interest reason I am priming my child to go to McGill Engineering after he graduates high school. Well, if not at least Concordia Engineering. Ceteris paribus, because he has the right to Quebec tuition for life, the total cost for studying at McGill or Concordia is lower than at UofT, York or Ryerson, even if he stays at home.

      However, what am I suppose to do? Should I lose any sleep because I do not contribute anymore to those who want to take extended parental leave? Should I weep because I do not pay Quebec taxes anymore yet I took, and will take, advantage of Quebec social programs?

      As a side note, I now realize that Quebec lifestyle fits into just a certain demographics. Like me, for example, as I feel that I 'took off' Quebec arrangement does not interest me anymore. When I was in Quebec, I just took what I got, taxes and all. Now that I am here, I can not help feeling why I paid all those deductions to the Quebec government.

      Does this answer make me a bad man?

  27. Two items for the upcoming investing guide being prepared by Mr. Evil: how are the parental leave and the EI paid and by whom.

    "En passant": Mr. Paralisee is in love with the two big financial centers of the world. Which are very Anglo...

    Also: Mr. Sauga quoted 40% of the taxes being paid by the 20% Anglo & Allo population. Where can I get statistics & references about this?

    1. @anonymous

      "what narcissistic wound causes you to spend your life on anglo sites desperate for our attention and approval..."

      dunno. you tell me. but don't we all need attention and approval anonymous?

  28. Editor,

    As this is a blog written by an anglophone (yourself) in English language about life in English, I would suggest that you use the correct English terms.

    The name of Les Iles de la Madeleine in English is The Magdalene Islands.

    I am pedantic, I know. You wrote that.

    1. No, you bring up an interesting point.
      It's a funny thing with place names, sometimes you use the name of that the locals use, sometimes not.
      When I was younger, my girlfriend (now my wife) took a train out to Two Mountains to meet me at my job after work.
      When she asked for a ticket, the seller told her that there was no Two Mountains only 'Deux Montagnes' to which she asked him to name the country just south of Quebec, to which he replied of course 'Les Etats Unis'
      The irony was lost on him....

    2. Oh! Oh! For once, I can out-pedant Troy! It’s actually called the Magdalen Islands.

      From Wikipedia: “A segment of the population are descendants from survivors of the over 400 shipwrecks on the islands. The islands are the location of some of Quebec's oldest English-speaking settlements, and although the majority of anglophones have since been assimilated with the francophone population or migrated elsewhere, there are still English-speaking settlements at Old Harry, Grosse-Ile, and Entry Island.”

      Then again, Trois-Rivières was traditionally called Three Rivers in English and Rivière-du-Loup was incorporated as Fraserville. As usual, it’s only OK when it’s anglophones who get assimilated.

    3. I actually wanted to write that.

      Why is it not acceptable to call Trois-Rivieres as Three Rivers while there is a flight US4051 from Trudeau to Philadelphie?

      And silly me, I put that extra 'e'.

    4. Troy...On s'en fout de vos anecdotes personnels,tellement inintéressant.

    5. /sarcasm on/ Because that's what going to "protect" French, of course, silly! /sarcasm off/

      PS: You were probably thinking of Mary Magdalene...

  29. A little bit out of topic:

    See here, Mario Beaulieu blasts J.-F. Lisee for his support of the STM serving customers in English.

    If separatist powers are fighting each other, I love just to sit back, have myself a bowl of popcorn and a can of Pepsi, and enjoy the spectacle.

    1. Continuing to see language as a zero-sum game... sigh.

    2. The comments are even more lunatic than the articles.

      "Nous ne faisons que commencer à voir le double jeu que pratique Lisée, un autre collabo au service du fédéralisme "canadian". Le PQ a démissionné sur la langue depuis belle lurette. Pas nécessaire d’aller loin en arrière, juste avant les Fêtes, ce parti de vendus a laissé tomber le projet de loi pour la francisation des cegeps anglophones qui fabriquent des étudiants bilingues en série autrement dit des étudiants anglos. Avec l’arrivée massive, en plus, de 55 000 immigrants par année, nous nous retrouvons à la veille d’un district bilingue à Montréal. Pourquoi avez-vous laissé le PLQ et le PQ agir de la sorte ? Il aurait fallu les acculer au mûr et leur demander de rendre des comptes sur cette immigration massive. Je vous ai même fourni un site sur le web ( pour alerter les instances internationales du génocide qui se prépare au Québec."

      Highlights : Lisée is a traitor and a federalist, English cegeps should have been francized, and we ought to alert the international community about the imminent genocide of francophones in Quebec.


    3. By the way - automated ticket machines are bilingual in Calgary. I wonder if they are in Montreal too. :)

    4. C'est à peu près tout ce que vous trouverez de bilingue à calagary.

    5. Can you imagine there are nutbars out there who actually believe such drivel is true? (plus it’s funny that such an ardent francophone can’t even spell the word “mur” correctly! *snicker*)

      By the way, Yannick, the CBC show “C’est la vie” has been running a series about French Quarters in different cities around Canada and their latest show was about Calgary. Admittedly, there has never been much French immigration there but there was some, as evidenced by the Eau Claire neighbourhood right downtown and the Catholic mission founded in the 19th century in the Mission district around 4th St. SW, just west of the Stampede Grounds, in what was then called Rouleauville, when it was part of the Northwest Territories before later being annexed by Calgary. You can still attend Mass in French at the Ste-Famille church and a French couple runs a pâtisserie nearby where francophones apparently hang out. The 2011 census states there are about 17,000 mother-tongue francophones in the city of over a million.

      If you’re interested, you can listen to the episode to hear more at:

    6. The community of Rouleauville was unfortunately supressed in the early 1900's, alas. I've shown up to a few francophone events here. Most of them are people born in Quebec and their children, no actual local francophone community. More a community of exiles.

    7. Technically, it wasn't actively "suppressed" but Mission progressively lost its French character after being annexed in 1907 and minimal franco immigration. Unfortunately, the city's French (and English) street names were also replaced by its boring street numbering system... [what? are they Manhattan? ;-)]

      By the way, aren't many/most Calgarians exiles? When working there several years ago, I remember hearing the statistic (can't prove it) that 10% of Calgarians were actually Americans/Texans, working for the oilpatch. Not to mention a great number of Atlantic Canadians...

    8. I had read that the french bishop was replaced by a francophobe irishman who changed the church and education to English, but I might have been misled.

      And yes, that is true. Most of Calgary wasn't born there, so much that it's a bit of a wonder to find an actual native Calgarian. :)

    9. Apparently I was neither wrong (the francophobe irish bishop did exist, his name was John Thomas McNally) nor right (Rouleauville was already pretty anglicised at the time). You can learn more over here Link

    10. Cool... but that's the same link that I had initally mentioned above. ;-)

  30. Guys, I'm working on the table of contents for the guide, so if you have sub-topics you want to throw out there, blast away.

    1. Education rights in Quebec should be one, it will be important to those who want to import manpower.

  31. FROM ED
    I'm sure it hasn't escaped anyone's attention that Katheen Wynne is the Premier of Ontario. She won fair and square. Sort of a Wynne win situation. Ed

  32. Another one that a bit out of topic.

    Editor, this one is for you. One of your favorite elder statesmen, Thomas Mulcair, is trying to appease to separatists and federalists at the same time. Any comment?

  33. People from provinces overflowing with jobs like Alberta can easily tell the Magdalen islanders to simply pack up their bags and move if they can't find work year-round. Easier said than done in a rural area like the Magdalen islands. Nowadays you couldn't pay someone to take your land in the country, it seems. People who live in the country are stuck. What the federal government should be doing is trying to bring other forms of employment to these isolated communities, but again, easier said than done. EI is really the only choice for some, and while that is not what EI is intended for, so far a better option hasn't been presented to these people.

  34. “The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”
    ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

    I have read a lot of posts and comments on this blog. The above quote pretty much sums up how I feel about the folks that comment on this blog and any political movement that would come from this group.

    1. Except that in the most applicable context to this blog, that of QC politics and power of Quebec City over 7 million lives, those on this blog are on the side of the minority, not the majority. So the quote, although very good, does not apply. This one would be more applicable: "The object of life is to accept in Rome what the Romans impose. Those who don't accept are simply insane"

      The comment about the political movement shows that such political movement could be useful. Otherwise, nobody would harp on it. I don't think that people who are afraid of this movement are thinking in terms of ceding power. I think they're more afraid of the stink such a movement could generate outside this province.

    2. Well said, adski.

      While some commenters here are indeed rather shrill, in general the Editor's comments on this blog represent common sense.

    3. Ironically, my quote can also apply to the Quebecois on the continental context, where the Romans are Anglo-Americans pushing their order of things. I'm sure many Quebeckers see it that way, though they fail to notice it in a more local context. In the socio-policial context of Quebec, they fail to comprehend how some just don't do as the majority dictates. The conviction of staying clear of the majority in a wider context (a majority that they may perceive as insane or simply incompatible with them) just escapes them in a smaller context where they are the majority.

  35. I can`t stop thinking about the documentary that UN GARS posted a link to. One has to wonder why it has not had more than 8000 views. That is an amazing film and should be watched and shared by all.

    It's refreshing and encouraging to see that these young, ambitious students have not been brainwashed like so many others in Quebec, young and old. Unfortunately, things have only deteriorated since that film was made.

    I wonder if UN GARS was in that documentary.

    In case you missed it, here it is again:

    1. @yannick

      forget about my question regarding your approval or not of socrate's sentence; i'm sure you don't.

  36. @ RS Mon jeunneral CES QUOI?? ""THE CAUSE"" I forget it

  37. The latest news is that Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond is distancing himself from anything to do with Pauline Marois, not even wanting to be seen with her… héhé!

    While this is making news in Quebec, it’s not at all making news in Scotland. Good sense?

    1. "salmond ne veut pas etre vu avec marois"

      Love it. Even separatists don't want anything to do with one particular separatist.

      I remember Duceppe's trip to Catalonia a few years back. His most official meeting there happened in some basement. This is also a forecast of sorts. Quebec can be an independent country, though not very prosperous it can survive on an acceptable level, but in terms of prestige, it will never reach the level of ambitions of the Outremont royalty. Instead, it will be getting a basement treatment around the world, while meetings with QC officials will be relegated by the other side of talks to second level bureaucrats.

    2. Makes her look like a fool on the international stage because there is no other country in the world that understands what the hell she's always bitching about except the hardcore separatists that reside in this province. No wonder no one wants to be seen with her and just imagine how she would be received anywhere in the free world should quebec try to gain independence with a 50+1 majority and causing outright civil disobedience following such a vote. There would be hell to pay in the streets for God only knows how long, trying to drag all of us with the radicals behind this movement. I wish she would stop spending my tax money on these unnecessary trips and embarrassing us in the process. Mind her business and stay at home - use that money for the health system or the homeless shelters, something that we NEED.

    3. Notice how she's suddenly happy to have the fleurdelisé next to the Canadian flag and Union Jack when she's over there...

      And what an impression she is making with comments like this:

    4. Notice how the Racists Separatists are the most vehement about registering the long guns? Their main reason for this is that.\, as Cutie003 puts it, ..should quebec try to gain independence with a 50+1 majority and causing outright civil disobedience following such a vote. There would be hell to pay in the streets..
      The racists know that Pauline Antoinette must confiscate the people's defenses so she doesn't suffer the "let them eat cake" fate!

    5. "there is no other country in the world that understands what the hell she's always bitching about except the hardcore separatists that reside in this province"

      I'll play a devil's advocate here.

      What QC separatists are bitching about and what the Scottish separatists are bitching about does have a grounding in history and is the fallout of the injustices of colonization. The problem is that the separatist ideology is totally based on highly localized history, and on national consciousness that is transmitted through local culture and local education. As such, it cannot garner sympathy of the outsiders, of those who are not soaked in this culture or those who did not pass through the system here, and those who obviously lack the national consciousness of someone else.

      Outsiders will look at the current events, and they will see QC as a semi-autonomous pampered province inside one of the richest countries in the world. So they will not relate to this "struggle", they will not understand it, they will not care, and they will dismiss it. The same thing happens to most immigrants who migrate into Canada and Quebec for economic reasons, and have no time nor desire to delve into a culture and history, least of all time or desire to go a step further: form consciousness centering on the issues pertinent to the local majority.

      What compounds the problem is that the local majority often seems angry and unapproachable, thus pushing away any odd "outsider" who does decide to delve deeper into the issues and scratch below the economic surface.

      Further complication is that the Quebeckers themselves these days are very economically oriented themselves. So they might support QC independence, but not vote for it because they don't want to endanger their standard of living. When outsiders see this, they rightly begin to doubt the seriousness of any of this, and begin to suspect a political use of the threat of separation, while dismissing any underlying historical reasons for it.

      Final complication: Quebeckers are themselves former colonizers. They have been a colonized colonialist. This does muddy the waters in terms of sympathy that someone like Marois might try to garner for QC on international stage.

    6. Well put and oh so true adski. Even the other provinces, within Canada, don't understand what's it's all about and no matter how much the seppies try to state their case, they will never, ever win sympathy from anyone outside this province and, at the current time, only 28% within the province. Most Canadians have forgotten the Plains of Abraham and find quebec totally and fully dependent on government subsidies and money from ROC to live the socialist lifestyle that they seem to feel they are entitled to and don't want to pull their weight on the world stage anyway. They talk of clean air, condemn Alberta, but will start to drill for oil in a minute when they don't have to share any money with the ROC. The hardcore seppies seem to think that the PQ are all for the preservation of the land and clean air but they won't hesitate one minute to bring in drilling equipment should they ever gain independence. They can't afford not to - plain and simple. And right now, they are the colonizers over the minority anglophones and allophones. Smarten up you fools.

    7. “A survey of Scotland’s newspapers shows Ms. Marois’ arrival Monday has so far attracted little attention. A search for “Marois” on the website of The Scotsman found nothing since last September and instead suggested results for “Maoris,” the aboriginal people of New Zealand.”

      Hee hee!

    8. I hope she brought along her interpreter so she can spend more of our taxpayer money on, um, what was it again???

    9. @TM

      The problem is she did not bring one, though she needed one BADLY! If I were going to Japan and didn't speak Japanese, I would have the good sense to bring along an interpreter. I crindge every single time I listen to her, mutter the few words she knows in English. A Premier no less, and no command of English, the universal Language of Commerce. It makes me laugh that she goes to the UK to drum up business and can't speak English to save her life, coming from Canada. It is the ultimate Joke! Awkward, Shameful, Embarrassing.

    10. Je ne vois pas votre problème,elle représente le Québec,pas le canada.Les gens cultivés savent que le Québec est français,pour les autres,ils sont au courant maintenant.

    11. @r.s

      "A search for “Marois” on the website of The Scotsman found nothing since last September and instead suggested results for “Maoris,” the aboriginal people of New Zealand."

      not true anymore. marois's visit is now featurd in their top stories.

    12. Florid McDonald

      2:10 PM on 30/01/2013

      The silence is deafening about the meeting between the first minister and Quebec Premier Marois

      No wonder...that mad canuck wants language police in Quebec.


      The article is interesting btw. It shows that the SNP is a more serious outfit than the PQ. The striking thing is the clarity of the question they're planning to ask. They were planning to ask: “Do You Agree that Scotland Should be an Independent Country?”, but even that was deemed too unclear due to the word "agree" (which is not 100% committal), so now it will be: “Should Scotland be an independent country? Yes / No”

      This is the kind of question that settles it. Compare it to this ridiculous thing:

      "The Government of Quebec has made public its proposal to negotiate a new agreement with the rest of Canada, based on the equality of nations; this agreement would enable Quebec to acquire the exclusive power to make its laws, levy its taxes and establish relations abroad — in other words, sovereignty — and at the same time to maintain with Canada an economic association including a common currency; any change in political status resulting from these negotiations will only be implemented with popular approval through another referendum; on these terms, do you give the Government of Quebec the mandate to negotiate the proposed agreement between Quebec and Canada?"

    13. I type "Marois" into the search box of the Scotsman, and I get this suggestion:

      When Maori warriors face men in red

    14. @ student,

      "not true anymore. marois's visit is now featurd in their top stories."

      If that is the case then provide links to those stories. We need proof!

    15. @durham


  38. You would think she runs Canada - I hope to hell Harper puts the witch in her place, publicly, this time.

  39. Notre première ministre a appris le globish en une année seulement...Wow!

    1. Elle n'a pas de mérite. J'ai lu à quelques reprises sur ce blogue que si les singes avaient un peu plus d'intelligence ils pourraient apprendre le globish.

    2. It appears that S.R is posting under his alter ego Y.L again.

    3. Et dire que certain(e)s sur ce blogue habitent chez-nous depuis des décennies et sont incapables de constuire une seule phrase,sans erreur,dans la langue officielle du Québec...Étrange.

    4. Quebec is a just a province of Canada, where English is an official language. And you should have noticed by now that this is an English blog.

    5. Should be: "Quebec is just a province of Canada..."

    6. J'ai surtout constaté la présence de plusieurs Québécois qui écrivent en globish.

    7. Freudian slip Durham? - lol - Quebec is a "just" province - boy that's a real boo boo = lol

  40. For sure monkeys have more intelligence than a couple of seppies that keep putting their comments on this blog - noticeable to everyone but them

  41. UN GARS BIEN SYMPATHIQUE DE CALGARYTuesday, January 29, 2013 at 3:05:00 PM EST

    S.R. is the typical separatist quebecois: racist, stupid, xenophobic, intolerant and more importantly irrelevant.

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

    2. FROM ED
      The ones that answer the separatist trollsare no more intelligent. Ed

  42. OK, first off, here's an interview with Matante Popo:

    Now, I can admit, her English has improved by leaps and bounds, but Matante might want to make this note...

    The city of Edinburgh is actually pronounced EdinBo-Ro... not EdinBURG.

    Anyone can make that mistake...but a politician hoping to score foreign points shouldn't be fugging up like that.

    Second, can anyone spot the other boo-boo that comes out of Popo's mouth at the 5:30 mark?

    1. Resident Evil (Milla Jovovich, hmmm...),

      At 05:30? "We are rich... we have big financial institutions..."

      Is that it?

  43. FROM ED
    This blog has become a complete waste of time. Sorting through the trolls bullshit, trying to find an intelligent remark is a pain in the ass. It's hard to believe that you all can't see they are making fools of you.
    I agree with Marcus's comment, "“The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.” I have read a lot of posts and comments on this blog. The above quote pretty much sums up how I feel about the folks that comment on this blog and any political movement that would come from this group."
    He's absolutely right. If we can't see that trolls are asking questons just to fill up the blog we, like them, are wasting time and space.
    If you think a smart answer to a troll makes you look smart, it does just the opposite. Do you think intelligent people looking in on us
    would want to be part of the above. Read it again from the top and ask yourself if you are proud of it. Ed

    1. Vous êtes de loin le plus sympathique sur ce blogue Ed et je suis sincère.Je soupçonne même que vous ayez un très grand sens de l'humour,je me trompe?

      Longue vie à vous Ed :)

  44. Over $100,000 to the PQ Party, less to the Liberals, around $90,000 or so, goes the illegal funding. And the Liberals were the most crooked of them all, right? They all received money from the crooks in this province so no more "it was only the liberals; they were the most corrupt". Turn on your TV to the Charbonneau Commission, listen and weep seppies.

    1. Of course, but since when have the facts had any value in the separatists' eyes?