Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Quebec Charter of Secularism: A Rabbit Hole of Grief

When  I first crafted this fictional sign, it was a humorous jibe, but given recent events, it is more chilling than funny.
"The Parti Québécois's proposed charter of Quebec values, would see religious symbols such as turbans, kippas, hijabs and visible crucifixes banned for public employees. Doctors, teachers and public daycare workers would be covered by the legislation." Link
Like a food fight in the cafeteria or a riot after a hockey game, a lot of good people can get caught up in the moment and just because everyone around you is doing something foolish, doesn't make it right for you to follow.

So the PQ's proposed Charter of Secularism and the seemingly strong public support is understandable, when a government appeals to the dark side of human nature.
I can best sum up my take on all this with a line from Shakespeare's Hamlet;

"A countenance more in sorrow than in anger"

For those without a familiarity with Shakespearean English, a 'countenance' is a facial expression, and the phrase is a very descriptive way of saying that one views a situation more in sadness than anger.

To my mind, the draconian measures floated by the PQ government is but a trial balloon and when the government finally tables the legislation it will be considerably watered down.
But sadly, it seems that the CAQ and Liberals, looking at the polls, will cave in and the law will pass in a limited form. An Editor prediction.

An interesting aspect to the law is its application to the Jews, who have been wearing kippahs in Quebec for over two centuries, which somehow never presented a problem before. Considering the fact that the number of Jews in Quebec is shrinking fast, there can be no question of the 'kippah problem' exploding.

The reality is that the proposed law is clearly an anti-Muslim reaction and kippahs and even turbans were thrown into the mix in order to seem fair.
Islamophobia is the one and only reason for this law, the fear that Quebec is facing a Muslim invasion complete with Sharia law and religious fundamentalism and so turbans and kippahs are  just collateral damage.

In France, only face coverings are banned, but the leader of France’s far-right nationalist party, Marine Le Pen, is promoting a ban on Jewish kippahs as well as Muslim headscarves.
"However, by equating the need for a ban on the Jewish kippa (skullcap) to a ban on the Muslim veil in public Le Pen showed that in order to circumscribe the Muslim population she would be prepared to sacrifice the interest of Jews, even though the record of Jewish integration in France is totally at variance with what has happened with Islam.

Le Pen herself admitted this when she sought to clarify her remarks in an interview with Le Monde, where she first proposed suppressing the kippa in the public space. Speaking on TF1 television, the National Front leader said “the kippa does not pose a problem in our country” However, she called upon French Jewry to make “this little effort, the small sacrifice” to put everybody on an equal footing and rebut the charge that a ban on the veil represented Islamophobia." Link
 Ha! at least she is honest!

I recently took my mom to the emergency room where she was treated, among others, by a doctor wearing a small kippah. Was I offended?
What do you think?
My reaction...Ooooh, lucky us, a Jewish doctor!
There is an old French Canadian saying that says goes like this;
"He was so sick, he had to go to a Jewish doctor" I kid you not....

Actually few Jews in Quebec wear a kippah, other than in synagogue. I would venture to guess the number at under 5% (Hasids excluded.) I tried to get an accurate figure but nobody seems to know for sure and there is no information to be had.
At any rate, if the number is 5%, that means that 5% of Jewish doctors in Quebec would be targeted by the law and one thing I do know for sure, is that there are a lot of Jewish doctors in Quebec, Montreal in particular.

Could you imagine the disastrous effect if just one kippa, turban or hijab wearing family doctor packs and moves, stranding thousands of patients, telling them that it's just tough noogies that there is nobody to replace him or her?
Then imagine a dozen or a hundred!!

Quebec is used to passing stupid laws and imposing ridiculous taxes because the vast majority are stuck here because of language or economics.
Those doctors wearing religious symbols are not likely to give up on their faith based on a government edict, considering they have options, like the 401 or the I-95.
Dr. Sanjeet Singh Saluja wears a turban as part of his faith and he said Wednesday that the PQ’s controversial “Charter of Quebec Values” would drive people from the Sikh, Jewish and Muslim communities away.
“The sad thing is I don’t know if I’d be able to stay here in Quebec,” said Saluja, an emergency-room doctor with the McGill University Health Centre.“Even though I love my practice here in Quebec, my faith is something that’s important to me and I don’t feel comfortable giving up that part of my persona and I don’t think a lot of people would be willing to, either.” Read: Doctor warns Quebec: You’ll lose us with headwear ban
So readers, before I go on, let me make another Editor's prediction that the law will not apply to doctors EVER, because whenever faced with the reality of hard pushback in reaction to one of their restrictive laws, the government caves. (Think of the language exemptions afforded multinationals in regards to Bill 101.)

Now to the hysteria...
Just because a majority of citizens want something, doesn't make it right, the ban is wrong for one specific reason...the consequences.
When governments legislate they must always look at the ramifications and sometimes good ideas (I'm not saying the proposed law is one) lead to bad outcomes.
Let me give you a small example, the movement by some granolas to ban water bottles from being sold in public buildings because it is wasteful and bad for the environment.
To these do-gooders everybody would be lining up at the water fountain, when in reality it would lead to a spike in Coke and Pepsi sales.
There are always unintended consequences to legislation, even well-intentioned and meaningful.

While the religious regalia ban law would apply only to specific areas, there's no doubt it would spill over everywhere.
Before long  bus drivers will refuse to board a person wearing a hijab or sari, or a metro agent will refuse to speak with anyone wearing a turban or kippah, that's the way things escalate.
It is inevitable.
Just today, the town of Huntington refused Muslims permission to open a cemetery, with one councillor stating that the town didn't want 'these people' around town. The mayor, controversial Stéphane Gendron, disgusted by the council's decision, said he will  not seek re-election;
"This is the result of gross ignorance and institutionalized racism, which the current PQ in power fuel an idiotic debate on values​​," Link{fr}   Link
Yup, that's where we're going.
But politicians don't understand or worse care and opening a Pandora's Box, where the evil of intolerance will be unleashed, is a trifling affair in comparison to vote-getting.

The bad thing about a food fight or riot, is that there are no innocent bystanders, if you're in the middle of one or the other, you're going to get an egg salad sandwich in the face or trampled by the mob.


  1. A solution in search of a problem, obviously.

    The mayor of one of Canada’s most multicultural neighbourhoods, Montreal’s CDN-NDG borough (i.e. Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce… phew!), Lionel Perez, who himself wears a kippa, calls the PQ’s proposal “rigid and selective”:

    Meanwhile, CAQ leader François Legault says the PQ’s measure is “too radical”:

    This is par for the course for the cynical PQ and their “sovereignist governance” agenda, actively seeking “chicanes” (chicanery, trickery, fights) wherever possible, thereby “proving” the need for sovereignty, which they believe will magically solve all of Quebec’s problems.

    1. Their sovereignty will certainly solve Canada's problems, for the rest of us that is.

  2. “To these do-gooders everybody would be lining up at the water fountain, when in reality it would lead to a spike in Coke and Pepsi sales.”

    Nonsense. I refill a Coke (or water but not Pepsi) bottle with water wherever I go (well washed, mind you) and never buy soft drinks while walking about. An unintended consequence to an unintended consequence, you might say. One-use water bottles actually ARE wasteful and bad for the environment.

    1. Besides, I would say that everyone who is an anti-wasting bottles activist is rather calling for plentify, accessible fountains rather than the outright banning of water bottles with no alternative.

      In fact, many businesses will purposefully not provide drinking water because they know they can sell a water bottle. It's the kind of nonsense that only capitalism can bring - the water is right there, but in order to keep the spice flowing, we purchase water from texas bottled in delaware and driven to Toronto. It's a huge waste of ressources, all so that a merchant can make a buck fifty at the till.

    2. The editor once brought the very apt "broken window" metaphor to explain why not all spending is good for the economy/population.

      In the metaphor, someone breaks a shopkeeper's window. As he is bemoaning his fate, someone points out to him that the money he'll spend on a new window will buy a windowmaker a new suit, which will buy a tailor food for his children, etc... etc... etc... all the wile ignoring the fact that if the window had not been broken, the money would still have been spent somewhere, but without the waste of a window.

      Money spent on water bottles to help joe the hotdog seller is a textbook example of broken windows.

  3. An interesting remark in the Gazette today about France. A minister says they would be alright if the rest of the world would go away. Sound familiar? The PQ feel the same way, "Our finances would be fine if people would top pointing out our mistakes." For some reason this brought back a comment by rene Levesque who complained abut the English press. It was in the middle of the engish exodus he said, "We are not really losing jobs because they are taking their jobs with them " He also complained that the English press did not refer to them as the government but consistently called them the Party Quebecois. He was shocked to find out that most of the french press did the same. Ed

    1. The above should be read while playing Eddie Arnold's "Make the World Go Away" in the background. Actually Jim Nabors did a nice version of that tune as well. Take yer pick!

  4. Copied from a FB page - good point though

    In light of the coming push by the PQ to institute through their "Charter of Quebec Values" and Bill-14 a complete ban on religious accommodations I have uncovered very dangerous and troubling issue.

    If religion is no longer to be accommodated then it should apply in a fair and equitable fashion or it will be deemed prejudicial.

    I put it to you that, in consideration of this coming state of affairs, the public sector including politicians and fonctionnaires, should not be paid for their religious holidays including Christian holidays such as Christmas and Easter.

    I predict that the PQ will use the elements found in the new proposed Charter (sic) to reduce budgets to publicly funded institutions based on paid holidays for religious holidays. E.G. - A Jewish employee of a governmental department, or a hospital, should not be paid for their religious holidays. The same would of course apply to any other religion.

    So why should this not apply to Christian holidays too? Why should taxpayers pay provincial government employees (as another example) for their religious holidays? And if the government decides they are going to make an exception for Christmas and Easter is that not discrimination and prejudicial toward those of other religions who will not be paid?

    I am counting on you all to disseminate this information and to generate a massive reaction to his issue. Refusal to allow religious accommodations will result in some very serious consequences. If the PQ will not allow the accommodations then they should not be paid from the public purse for their own religious holidays either.

    Now, please get the word out and spread this troubling observation before this becomes a reality - which I predict it will - resulting a great amount of social upheaval. The PQ are getting caught now in their own machinations - let's make sure this trap is well set for them.

    1. Guess what? It is discrimination, and we dont care. If you're not happy in Quebec you can leave.

    2. Nazi's - true to form in quebec politics. Don't worry, the world is watching this time around and you'll not get away with stealing our land and/or our buildings. Pr--ks!

    3. Just want to thank Vive le Quebec for his comment.

      So refreshing to hear a separatist actually say it.

    4. We're not worried. People of quebec are granted property rights, nobody is going to steal your land. Whats the world gonna? Tell their people not to come here? Well thats what we want! If a non muslim is living in a muslim country, they have 3 choices
      1. Convert to islam
      2. Pay jizya (tax)
      3. Leave
      Is the world telling them what to do?

    5. UN GARS BIEN SYMPATHIQUE DE FRANKFORTWednesday, August 28, 2013 at 12:06:00 PM EDT

      quebec is right on with their Charter of Values. Exactly what Canada needs.
      No more immigraants. Have larger families instead.
      I agree with vive le quebec on this; he is factual and true. Obviously no one here has never travelled to a Muslim country... absolute hell for christians.

    6. Vive le Québec : +10

      coward&peggy : 0

    7. Vive le Quebec says: Guess what? It is discrimination, and we dont care. If you're not happy in Quebec you can leave.

      well, this might just come back and bite you in the ass once quebec will look for international recognition as a state in the event of a successful separation. or negotiate borders with canada.

    8. Les anglos ne se fatiguront donc jamais de brandir des épouventails qui ne font même plus peur aux oiseaux?

    9. Vive le Quebec: Nazi could have say that to your brothers in France until they got saved by our Anglophone soldiers (and not by their kebecois brothers, shame!)

    10. Depuis quand les Français sont nos frères?

      Et es soldats du 22ème régiment vous remercient :)

    11. Le monde ne s'intéresse pas à une poignée d'angryphones du Québec peggy,voici un sujet qui intéresse le monde:

      Welcome to Fort McMoney - Remember to Breathe


    12. The uncomfortable truth is that Quebec needs immigrants more than immigrants need Quebec.

    13. Mais la meilleure partie est que nous avons le pouvoir de les sélectionner,un peu comme vous le faites au supermaché (IGA) lorsque vous achetez des fruits (ou des Donuts).

    14. Also, all provinces already have a say in who they accept as immigrants and nothing at all stops them from going to where the best opportunities and best treatment are after they arrive.

    15. S.R., you guys don't have any choice either. How to form a new Quebec with just 40% of current population and most of them live off of welfare?

    16. P. Darwin: You forgot about how the RoC feeling about Quebec as a sovereign country joining NAFTA. No dice! They could form a free trade alliance with France...if France will have them. Maybe France could fill the equalization money void that a Quebecless Canada will abandon, too!

  5. UN GARS BIEN SYMPATHIQUE DE FRANKFORTWednesday, August 28, 2013 at 6:42:00 AM EDT

    What's the big deal with demanding that immigrants fully I-N-T-E-G-R-A-T-E to our customs and traditions? It does NOT make quebec racist or intolerant. Many canadians actually support the quebec Charter of Values for what it represents. Have you guys looked at Europe lately? I for one would rather not witness "diversity" in my country. Time to stop immigration all together and remind Canadians to have larger families. Since that will never happen.... have some insight into our future:

    A good ol' Canadian: http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2013/08/toronto-muslim-charged-after-making-mass-murder-threats-aboard-a-toronto-to-istanbul-flight.html

    A future Canada: http://chersonandmolschky.com/2013/08/26/liberalism-britains-descent-multicultural-abyss/


    1. When did it become a custom or tradition here to tell people what religion to practice? So far as I know freedom of religion is enshrined in our charter, sounds like a custom or tradition. Insinuating one cannot integrate while preserving ones religion is insane, there are Canadians that have been here for centuries with different religions.

      Oh no a Muslim man made threats on an airplane, I bet no white or christian people has done anything so vile....how's that Luka Magnotta trial going? Ridiculous.

  6. Ultimatum à quatre écoles hassidiques


    1. You should have mentioned this:

      "En plus de cette professionnelle des relations publiques, les écoles avaient embauché une lobbyiste - Claude Potvin, responsable des communications pour la campagne à la direction de Pauline Marois en 2005 - pour servir d'intermédiaire avec le ministère de l'Éducation"

  7. John, that's what he does: he copies links from articles he has not even read or understood...just emotional reactions like the ones the PQ wants to cause by playing the identity card ("we are under attack"), the language card ("we have a unique language nobody has and they, the others, want to ditch it"), the culture card ("we have a unique culture nobody has and they, the others, want to prevent us from having it"). A typical PQ artificial crisis to stir up emotions and instill in the poor downtrodden people the need for a majority government to save them from the terrible, nasty, mean others. Before the others were the Anglos, now they are the Muslims, Jews, Italians, Greeks, Russians, Armenians, Turks...
    the PQ is just the Catholic Church of our time, the good shepherd guiding the flock (to keep under the thumb, of course) towards salvation (=a constant state of fear in a marvelous unilingual world).

  8. Just a start?

    1. Besoin de lunettes peggy?

    2. she's just practicing what she preaches.....ignoring posts from trolls ......

  9. "To these do-gooders everybody would be lining up at the water fountain, when in reality it would lead to a spike in Coke and Pepsi sales. There are always unintended consequences to legislation, even well-intentioned and meaningful."

    I drink a lot of bottled water, and if this alternative became unavailable, I would go to the fountain, not Coke or Pepsi. Many water drinkers are by definition people who stray from soft drinks.

    Speaking of "unintended consequences", isn't the heavy presence of Muslims in Quebec an unintended consequence of language-based immigration policy? Isn't this act of secularism an attempt to "clean up" a contradiction of the immigration policy that promotes francophone immigrants but whose culture and religion turn out to be "incompatible"?

    But for me the problem with this charter is also ethical, not just practical. Because I think it is highly unethical to micro-manage people's lives the way the PQ wants to do it, regardless of whether there are any practical consequences of this or not.

    1. Interesting you should bring up this topic, adski.

      That topic is discussed at some length in Prof. Marc V. Levine's, book. He brilliantly pointed out the early unforeseen consequences Quebec education planners didn't see and subsequently suffered when they planned to force as many kids as possible to obligatorily attend French schools.

      In the end what you're witnessing now is how the racial sickness went around and how the even worse racial sickness is now coming around.

      Hear O French Quebec: You made your bed, now lie in it.

  10. "Guess what? It is discrimination, and we dont care. If you're not happy in Quebec you can leave"

    Thanks for reminding us, day by day, that it's worth fighting morons like you and crashing them like small insignificant insects puking out nonsense.
    A piece of advice: if you have nothing to say (which is your case), say nothing.

    1. Tous les pays vont vous dire la même chose NewCaCa...Pas content?Dégage!

    2. Another reminder newca , as long as we are a majority you will always be a loser.
      Welcome to Quebec!!

    3. René Lévesque once said: “A nation is judged by how it treats its minorities.”

      And now you know why the Québécois nation is so poorly regarded outside its own small tribe.

    4. UN GARS BIEN SYMPATHIQUE DE FRANKFORTThursday, August 29, 2013 at 7:04:00 AM EDT

      Good point with Rene.
      I believe that Rene Levesque would disagree with many things that have/is happening in quebec nowadays...

  11. Signes religieux: la position du PLQ «évolue»

    Le Parti libéral du Québec (PLQ) fait volte-face et ouvre la porte à l'idée d'interdire le port de signes religieux ostentatoires dans la fonction publique.



  12. "Tous les pays vont vous dire la même chose NewCaCa...Pas content?Dégage!"

    Exactly...the fight is absolutely worth. Thanks for reminding me over, over and over.

  13. http://www.lapresse.ca/actualites/politique/politique-quebecoise/201308/28/01-4684025-signes-religieux-la-position-du-plq-evolue.php


    1. Typical of the Liberal Party in Quebec - I don't know why we always think there is hope for this place. So discouraging. Couillard will be the same as Charest I'm afraid and won't tackle discrimination in this province.

    2. No question. Even if this is just them playing politics and they eventually come out strongly against it in the fall, there are just some issues that you need to take a stand on from the start. This is definitely one of them. To think that this charter has a real chance of passing is absolutely sickening.

  14. http://www.cjad.com/CJADLocalNews/entry.aspx?BlogEntryID=10582184#comments

  15. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlB7V8SkB8E&feature=share

  16. "Mais la meilleure partie est que nous avons le pouvoir de les sélectionner,un peu comme vous le faites au supermaché (IGA) lorsque vous achetez des fruits (ou des Donuts)"

    That's the reason why WE Canadians will never support your project...
    Thanks again for giving us more and more reasons to push you away and back, and squeeze you out like an infected zit...

    1. Reminder: we don't need your support. Canada cannot push us out It is up to us to decide when we'll leave and until we do, keep sending us the cheques.

    2. LOL - LOL - BEST JOKE OF THE DAY AGAIN BY A SEPARATIST FREAK! Canada will do what the hell it wants and with the backing of the US and you jokers will be put in your place which is on a island somewhere far away from civilization where you can fornicate your sisters and cousins without anyone bothering you. You think you will run off with a whole province that Canada has paid for and they will have no say in it just because you vote for it! - hahahahahahahahahahaha

    3. Keep sending us the cheques peggy :)

    4. NewCa: And now you’ve seen for yourself how intellectually bereft the separatists that we conquered really are.

    5. Your laughing cause you obviously dont understand the constitution and we have the right to a referendum and everybody has to accept the outcome and why do you always bring up the americans? You may be laughing at this moment but we laugh everyday cause we got canada by its balls! Hahaha

    6. Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that:

      "Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance."

      Won't the charter infringe the right mentioned above?

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

    8. Le projet n'interdit à personne le droit de croire en qui ou en quoi il le désir.Cette loi interdira simplement l'employé de l'État d'aller travailler avec un torchon ou un chapeau de cowboy sur la tête.

    9. Since wearing a religious symbol is part of the the practice and workplaces are public spaces, how can one deny that it does not infringe on religious rights.

      And since we're at it, how about removing then the compulsory 'Éthique et culture religious' then? And yah, the crucifix in the NA, shouldn't that be removed as well?

    10. *Of course** it infringes religious rights. It infringes upon both the Canadian and Quebec Charter of Rights. Thus, it is certain to be immediately challenged in court, should it pass, and this is precisely what the PQ is seeking: to divide Quebecers by drumming up the fears of their intolerant base so they can say “See? This is why we need to separate.”

      Everything, but **everything**, the PQ ever does is about trying to achieve separation, something which has eluded them for almost half a century now. That is the only reason they exist.

    11. oops, I also assume you are absolutely for removing St/Ste municipalities' and streets' names. i.e. I'd start with st jovite, st zotique, st clet, etc. you also should not forget to change the entire name of ile au diable, since devil after all is a genuine religious concept... right?

    12. Vous ne semblez pas assez intelligent pour faire la différence entre le patrimoine (vestiges) d'une religion et les fana d'allah...Par exemple.

    13. Of course, if the PQ had an ounce of integrity regarding their dedication to secularism, they would also remove the crucifix that was placed there in the 1930s by Maurice Duplessis when Quebec was under the yoke of the Catholic Church, as well as the compulsory saying of a prayer before holding a municipal council in Saguenay (you know, that thing about separation of church and state and all that…).

      Well, since they have no integrity, they are trying to get around it by claiming it has “heritage” value. You know, just like the heritage value of the Canadian flag that the PQ so quickly removed from the Assembly…

      If they had any integrity regarding their dedication to secularism, they would also change the Quebec flag, which has a big, honkin’ Christian cross in its centre.

      But as we all know, this has *nothing* to with genuinely respecting secularism and *everything* to do with getting the people of Hérouxville all worked up over nothing, and hopefully getting a few more PQ votes next time. And if any of these “money and ethnics” decide to leave Quebec, then they perversely consider this loss to be a “win”.

      Orwellian Quebec politics, in other words…

    14. Et trouvez vous donc un pseudo svp,c'est la règle sur ce blogue.

    15. This editorial cartoon pretty much sums up the PQ’s real attitude to secularism.

    16. The Scottish National Party has learned a lot from Quebec nationalists’ repeated failures, particularly regarding their confrontational attitude of unilateralism that you can see on display right above.

      Quebecers have already made their choice and yet nationalists continue to harm our beautiful province because they won’t accept reality and choose to live in a dream world.

      The Scots have roundly rejected Quebec nationalists’ failed strategies, flatly repudiating unilateral action and choosing instead to engage in cooperative dialogue with Westminster, which will assure a smooth result in terms of greater international recognition and acceptance for whatever option it chooses.

      Can you imagine pinning all your hopes on the acceptance from France? No wonder Quebec nationalists are so bitter and angry. I’m so glad not to be you!

    17. @Cat

      I've been following developments in Scotland, and as the referendum approaches and the support for independence is staying at the same level (way below 50%), the SNP is getting more desperate and it shows.

      The SNP enfranchised 16 and 17 year olds just for the referendum, betting rightly on the misguided idealism and radicalism of the young and their lack of real life experience, the SNP leader Alex Salmond rejected the idea that the international electoral commission oversee vote count (Chomedey anyone?). They also have pro-independence propagandists masquerading as reporters (kind of like Bock Cote or Martineau here in QC) coming on television, even on the BBC, to hate monger on the British, sometimes making preposterous claims like the one that 1 in 29 Londoners are millionaires while the Scots live in poverty (late on the same show this Lesley Riddoch woman gets called out on this lie)

      The closer it gets to the referendum, the more desperate the SNP will be, so there will be more lies and ugliness.

      Because the sad reality for parties like to SNP and the PQ is that despite the fact that many new countries appeared on the map in the last 50 years, not a single new country appeared in what we call the West: Western Europe, the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand...and this is for 2 reasons. One is that these countries are too politically stable, so they can withstand separatist movements, unlike outside the West where the same western countries can easily cause instability and produce state break ups. Second, more importantly, the populations of western countries, despite their regional nationalisms, prefer the economic stability and safety of the bigger states inside which they find themselves (Scots in Britain, Quebeckers in Canada, Catalans in Spain, etc...). So the separatist projects in the West are not so much popular movements as elite games played while seeking prestige, recognition, and international exposure for the local elites. So in order to get a referendum to pass, the elites have to resort to desperate tricks.

      As for the SNP, they had a good start, in agreeing on a direct and clear question (unlike in Quebec) and showing Marois the door when she came to Scotland and squirmed to get a camera shot alongside the Scottish Prime Minister who chose to snub her instead. But after this good start, it started to get worse and it will be getting worse as Scottish separatists get more and more desperate.

    18. Another interesting parallel between Scotland and Quebec, besides reliance on historical resentments, is that the significant numbers in the artistic community in Scotland are backing independence.


      It seems that even some actors well known from Hollywood productions (Alan Cumming, Brian Cox) come out is support of the SNP. Listening to Cumming talk about how independence would add to Scottish potential, creativity, ambition, confidence, and pride makes me think how good these famous and articulate actors are for the use by politicians. And how disconnected they are from the common people who have to go out everyday and work in real jobs, and live real lives.

  17. UN GARS BIEN SYMPATHIQUE DE FRANKFORTWednesday, August 28, 2013 at 5:17:00 PM EDT

    I have travelled to the following countries:
    Croatia: they are very protective of their culture and traditions. Immigrants? No.
    Germany/France/England: their "progressive" policies towards immigration are well known.
    Immigrants? Tons. Mostly Muslims.
    Iceland: they are very protective of their culture and traditions. Immigrants? Maybe a few; they must change their names for an Icelandic one (so I heard).
    USA: another melting pot besides Canada. Illegal immigrants and a growing Muslim problem seems to be the main issues.
    Canada: see USA.
    Cyprus: Despite the country being separated, the Greek and Turkish duality have branded respective cultures and traditions. Immigrants? Not unless you're Greek or Turk.
    United Arab Emirate: Mainly expat workforce. Strictly Muslim with rigid laws ties to the Holy Q'ran. Death penalty for most severe crimes.

    Conclusion: so called "nice" and "progressive" countries such as European ones are now dealing with severe problems caused by immigrants. We Canadians must now oblige every minorities' needs, wants and fancy particularities. Let's all bend over backwards for them.
    quebec is right on their Charter of Values. They are bang on and not racists; they are trying to hold on to their identities similarly to Croatia, Muslim countries, etc.

    While quebec may be broke in 20 years, they'll still have their common identity intact. quebec anglos as well.

  18. UN GARS BIEN SYMPATHIQUE DE FRANKFORTWednesday, August 28, 2013 at 5:22:00 PM EDT

    Another good ol' Canadian:

  19. Un nouveau film Québéco-Américain avec Matthew McConaughey


    Jean-Marc vallée a vendu son âme


    How is the PQ’s proposed Charter of Quebec Values going to make minority groups feel welcome? Short answer: it isn’t. Its actions consistently suggest that it remains a party looking to use the power of the state to impose the cultural dominance of the majority onto Quebec’s cultural, religious and linguistic minorities.


    MONTREAL — The Parti Québécois government is gearing up to introduce its Charter of Quebec Values (originally conceived of as the Quebec Charter of Secularism). According to a story in the Journal de Montréal last week — widely seen as a trial balloon by the PQ — the proposed legislation would outlaw Quebec employees in public institutions, such as health-care workers, police officers, judges and teachers, from wearing “conspicuous” religious symbols such as turbans, kippas, hijabs and crucifixes.

    Why is it that identity politics seem to be the one thing that continues to nourish the PQ and drive its political agenda? Despite the pressing issues of corruption, a shaky economy, disappearing jobs, decrepit infrastructure and a shortage of doctors, the PQ has remained steadfastly committed to pushing through its flagship policy priorities: language, culture, identity and sovereignty.

    What purpose do standardized ideas about “Quebec values” and fixed ideas of what it means to be a Quebecer serve? For one thing, these measures win votes among the neo-traditional and right-wing nationalists. But beyond that, they do little more than exacerbate social tensions over identity and belonging.

    Like the Quebec Identity Act (Bill 195) introduced by Pauline Marois in 2007 (and promptly defeated in the National Assembly) and the recent tabling of Bill 14, an Act to Amend the Charter of the French Language, the proposed Charter of Quebec Values is a tool to manufacture social uncertainty and garner support for the “national” project.

    The PQ’s strategy has long involved positioning itself as the guardian of cultural survival for the francophone majority. Ironically, this is not unlike how the Roman Catholic Church behaved before secularization took hold.

    It is worth repeating that prior to the 1960s, French Canadian identity was not defined by Quebec’s borders, but along ideological lines. French Canadians were encouraged by the Roman Catholic Church to coalesce around three social tenets — faith, race and language — that would assure their collective survival in the face of perceived external dangers: anglicization, Protestantism and later, feminism, urbanization, modernization and industrialization.

    When secularization began to take root during Quebec’s Quiet Revolution, race and religion were no longer seen as appropriate categories of identity in the new civic (and not ethnic) approach to nationalism. Race and religion were folded into language as the main marker of identity and guarantee of collective existence, and the key symbol of national legitimacy.

    Over the years, I have had many exchanges with Péquistes who lament the fact that Quebec nationalism is still viewed with suspicion by the province’s multitude of minority groups who do not identify as pure laine. The problem is that despite the PQ’s rhetorical commitment to equality, inclusion and openness, its actions consistently suggest that it remains a party looking to use the power of the state to impose the cultural dominance of the majority onto Quebec’s cultural, religious and linguistic minorities.

    1. The proposed Charter of Quebec Values does nothing to help the PQ’s image and, in fact, is helping to perpetuate this view. I get that this is part of the party’s carefully crafted strategy to distance itself from Canada and Canadian multiculturalism, but it’s a dangerous gamble to take. Upstart political parties Québec solidaire and Option nationale have demonstrated that there are other ways to think about sovereignty that do not pander to the politics of division.

      As I’ve said before, Quebec is facing a large demographic shift vis-à-vis its aging population and low birth rate among “old-stock” francophones de souche, meaning high rates of immigration are needed to offset Quebec’s dwindling population.

      How is the PQ’s proposed Charter of Quebec Values going to make minority groups feel welcome? Short answer: It isn’t.

      The subjugation of basic civil liberties to some government-created notion of “national values” puts the PQ into fundamentalist, far-right ideological territory. Not only does it run counter to international human-rights legal architecture, as well as the Canadian and Quebec charters of rights, but these so-called “values” are not representative of the Quebec people, who are overwhelmingly open, confident and tired of these debates.

      You can make all kinds of arguments about Quebec being a unique or distinct society. But no vibrant, democratic society has ever been forged through exclusion, polarization and repression of difference. Quebec is just like anywhere else in that regard.

      Twitter: CooperCeline
      © Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette

    City council votes unanimously for a more balanced approach to secularism


    MONTREAL — City council voted unanimously Tuesday not to endorse Quebec's proposed secularism charter, which would ban public-sector employees from wearing turbans, hijabs, kippas and other religious symbols at work.

    While the motion does not outright oppose the controversial charter, it recommends the Parti Québécois government take a more balanced approach in its efforts to separate church from the functions of government. Some councillors implored the Parti Québécois government to consider the harmful effect such a charter would have on a multicultural city like Montreal, where people from diverse religious backgrounds work as civil servants, teachers and doctors.

    Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce mayor Lionel Perez said the motion is designed to send a "signal" to Quebec City. Perez, a practicing Jew, wears his kippa on the job and says it has never prevented him from separating his faith from his decision-making as a politician.

    Louise Harel, the former PQ cabinet minister who now sits on city council, supported Perez's motion and said it's not about opposing the secularism charter, but rather ensuring it remains balanced. About 58 per cent of Quebecers support the proposed ban on religious symbols in the public sphere, according to results of a poll conducted by Toronto-based Forum Research Inc. However, the poll also shows that most Canadians are against such a secularism charter.

    The PQ is expected to present its "Charter of Quebec Values" in a few weeks. Some reports have suggested the ban would not apply as strongly to Christian public workers, who would still be allowed to wear discreet religious symbols such as crucifixes.

    Coalition Avenir Québec leader François Legault said Monday he thinks the PQ's plan for the charter is divisive and goes too far. But Legault does support banning religious symbols for teachers, politicians, judges and police officers.

    On Monday, New Democrat leader Thomas Mulcair said such a religious ban would be "blatantly unconstitutional" and violate rights guaranteed by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    © Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette

  22. Angela Campden

    I cant stand that Christmas trees aren't allowed but by law have to provide a muslim prayer room in a corporate building. Merry Christmas is so offensive to some. Drives me nuts. If someone said Happy Ramadan to me I'd smile.

    1. Muslims aren't offended by Christmas trees. They've never asked to have them removed. It's the overly politically correct who do that on their own initiative. If you said Merry Christmas to a Muslim, they'd smile too, just like you.

    By Hon. Irwin Cotler, August 28th, 2013

    All nationalisms risk veering off course into intolerance. Fortunately, in Quebec, throughout the many years that we have wrestled with issues of identity and nationhood, some of the most ardent leaders of the nationalist movement have also been staunch advocates of inclusion. René Lévesque said that “a nation is judged by how it treats its minorities”; his Minister of Immigration, Gérald Godin, urged Quebecers to “form with the cultural communities a new world, a model society, better, free, open and welcoming”; and Lucien Bouchard spoke of a nationalism that “no longer seeks homogeneity but embraces diversity and pluralism.”

    However, the so-called “charter of values” reportedly being contemplated by our provincial government would make a mockery of the free and open society that many of Quebec’s nationalist leaders have been promoting for decades. Indeed, banning manifestations of religious belief – both for those who work in public institutions and for those served by them – would constitute a radical break not only with our provincial and federal charters of rights and with international human rights law, but with Quebec values themselves, as articulated by icons of Quebec’s nationalist movement.

    The idea of prohibiting religious symbols and attire in the public service is based on a misunderstanding of the separation of church and state. This fundamental tenet of free societies demands that public institutions and those who work for them be religiously neutral, not religiously neutered. To deny public employees the right to manifest their faith is to falsely imply that a bureaucrat or a nurse or a sanitation worker in a hijab is incapable of doing her job in a competent and professional manner. In fact, there is no contradiction between offering Quebecers impartial service from public employees, and offering those employees religious freedom.

    A secular society is one in which there is no state religion, with no religious test for those aspiring to public office, and equal treatment for all. However, a society that bars individuals – including those who work for or interact with the state – from adhering publicly to their faith is not secular, it is constricted. Such a prohibition would divide Quebecers into two categories – secular and observant – and would effectively prevent members of the latter group from holding certain jobs or receiving certain services.

    This would create immediate, practical problems. For instance, would an elderly Jewish man be required to discard the kippa he has worn all his life in order to receive palliative care? Would ambulance workers at the scene of a car accident have to remove the patka of the Sikh boy in the back seat before administering CPR?

    But the ban would also have profound long-term consequences. It would force religious Quebecers “into the closet”, and send the message that religious adherence is something to be ashamed of. Moreover, if religious symbols are barred from the public sphere, they and those who wear them will be rendered even more foreign and separate from the majority. Far from encouraging integration, therefore, such a ban would reinforce divisions based on religious affiliation.

    1. Religious freedom is a right guaranteed by the Quebec and Canadian charters of rights, as well as the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and it has been repeatedly affirmed that the freedom to hold a belief is inseparable from the freedom to express it. Therefore, should the Quebec government go ahead with these measures, the matter would undoubtedly end up before the courts, but it would be regrettable if it ever got that far. Testing the judiciary to see how much trampling on minority rights the government can legally get away with is not a recipe for a free and open society.

      Proponents of the proposed measures argue that they enjoy widespread support. If this is true, it is both unfortunate and entirely beside the point. In free societies, minority rights are not subject to majority rule.
      Proponents argue as well that, without clear rules delimiting religious accommodation, we will have to keep perpetually navigating the grey areas of religious difference. Well, yes. There are complications inherent to diverse societies, but banning diversity is no solution. Indeed, the only societies with greater problems than those that embrace pluralism are those that do not.

      If the Quebec government truly does proceed with its charter in this form, it will move us away from our liberal democratic traditions, and establish exclusion and division as Quebec values.

      Lévesque would turn in his grave.

      The Hon. Irwin Cotler is Emeritus Law Professor (McGill), M.P. for Mount Royal and former Minister of Justice & Attorney General of Canada.

  24. The OQLF commissioned a study that contradicts the so-called “study” Pierre Curzi produced in 2010 and on which Bill 14 is based. Take a wild guess what they did with it? Try to sweep it under the rug, perhaps? BINGO!


    MONTREAL — In politics, Friday is known as “ take-out-the-trash day,” or simply “garbage day.” It’s when the administration releases information that is unfavourable to it, hoping that it will be forgotten over the weekend, if it’s reported at all.

    Last Friday, the Office québécois de la langue française and the Parti Québécois language minister, Diane De Courcy, gave the garbage-day treatment to a new study for the language agency. The study contradicts the original premise on which the government’s proposed language legislation, Bill 14, is based. The legislation is based on the PQ platform in last September’s election. The platform, in turn, was drawn from the PQ policy program adopted at the party’s last convention in 2011. And the language policy was inspired by a “study” in 2010 by Pierre Curzi, then a PQ member of the National Assembly, arguing that “greater Montreal is becoming anglicized.”

    Curzi said the proportion of Montrealers with French as either their mother tongue or the language they speak at home was declining. And one of the main reasons for that, he said, is that too many allophones — people with mother tongues other than French or English — adopt English instead of French as the language they use most often at home.

    That premise is contradicted, however, by the study on the language choices of allophones in metropolitan Montreal released by the OQLF on Friday. It says the proportion of “transfers” to English among allophones has actually been declining, while the proportion of allophones adopting French has been “stable or slightly higher.”

    There has been a larger increase in the proportion of allophones continuing to speak their mother tongues at home. So French hasn’t been losing ground to English.

    As for the language used outside the home, the study says some of the most important factors come into play before allophones even settle in the land of Bill 101. One is whether they already speak French or other languages descended from Latin. And whether they adopt French or English is influenced by whether they began learning it in their countries of origin.

    The study looked at how often French is used outside the home by different categories of linguistic minorities: allophones who are first- or second-generation immigrants and anglophones who are first- or second-generation immigrants or the children of anglophones born in Canada. It found that the allophones use French more often.
    Minorities were more likely to use French if they lived with a French-speaking partner, lived in a French-speaking neighbourhood, came from a French-speaking country, or attended French school.

    Quebec already generally requires immigrant children to attend French school, and favours prospective immigrants from French-speaking countries. But it can’t dictate where or with whom individuals choose to live. So the study doesn’t make the case for new language legislation.

    1. The study was released only a few weeks before the Assembly resumes sitting, with Bill 14 on its agenda. The legislation has been approved in principle, but needs to go through clause-by-clause study in committee before final adoption. The study, however, supplies De Courcy with no fresh ammunition to use in support of her legislation, which she didn’t mention in her communiqué on the study.

      The OQLF did little to draw attention to the study, which it released without the usual advance notice or media briefing on its details. And not only did the OQLF release it on a “garbage day,” it released it on one in summertime. Not surprisingly, the study has received almost no media coverage. Mission accomplished?

      Twitter: MacphersonGaz
      © Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette

    2. This report shows that French in a secure position due to the contribution of the ethnic population, which is in complete contradiction to the alarmist politics of Pauline Marois and the Parti Québécois... It can't be soon enough to throw this minority separatist government out and get on with building a better and more inclusive Quebec...

  25. http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/montreal-counterpunches-passes-its-own-take-on-secular-charter-1.1429653#commentsForm-429243

  26. UN GARS BIEN SYMPATHIQUE DE FRANKFORTThursday, August 29, 2013 at 7:10:00 AM EDT

    Many readers here are naive about Islam...
    Sounds like the British 50 years ago... I say live and learn the hard way. Their great grandkids will be converted by force or die. Here in Canada. Yup. Wait for it. At least quebec will be looking out to Canada and thank itself for the Charter of Values.

  27. http://www.ottawacitizen.com/opinion/editorials/Editorial+Tolerating+intolerance+Quebec/8844160/story.html

  28. A refreshing opinion published in the separatist Le Devoir…

    August 28, 2013 | Francine Pelletier | Quebec City

    The survey that was published this week in the Journal de Montréal was chilling: 65% of francophones agree with the Charter of Quebec Values that has been proposed by the PQ while 72% of anglophones are against it, and as for allophones, they are located somewhere in between. This is a split such as has not been seen in ages and which foretells a very acrimonious autumn, especially given that the one-third of francophones who disagree with the proposal *really* disagree with it. I count myself among them, no matter how many times they invoke, as a sort of baby pacifier, "gender equality".

    The fact is that there is no consensus on secularism, neither on the left nor on the right, nor among men and women, nor between the young and the old. We are torn apart in largely the same proportion (40-60) and with the same degree of emotion as with sovereignty, but with this difference: while the political class has tried to silence that debate for 20 years, this one is being blown out of proportion. The reason is simple: the debate on secularism has a much bigger payoff. Have you seen the polls? Even the CAQ understands how much hay can be made here.

    Despite the failure to unveil the details of its Charter, the PQ’s strategy, at least, is clear. Witness the allusions to Bill 101: they want to sell us secularism as being yet another round in the fight for the survival of Quebec. Much in the same way that we didn’t have cold feet in 1977, enduring insults and threats about the unconstitutionality of the law, we must now brave the storm in the name of identity as well as the lastingness of Quebec.

    This is why, by the way, that gender equality is constantly being invoked: there needs to be a (real) good reason to head to the front lines, a cause that will whip up the troops, and secularism, something which no one really understands, isn’t one of these. A population that refuses by a margin of 55% (and by practically 100% of our elected officials) to remove the crucifix in the National Assembly, the symbol of the state, practices, one might say, a rather squishy version of secularism. Evidently, we are not ready to become cannon fodder for the separation of church and state.

    The weightiest matter in this new fight against the enemy thus becomes gender equality. The problem is that, unlike language, gender equality is neither a particularly Quebec issue, nor is it directly related to the survival of the nation. Moreover, the incessant use of this principle unfairly allows the targeting of Jews and Muslims who observe a more ostentatious (some might even say more discriminatory) religion than the Christian majority. Throw in the free pass that the francophone majority seems to be willing to give to Catholic practitioners and symbols and the injustice becomes clearly intolerable, not to say xenophobic.

    Of course, we don’t want to have men who refuse to deal with women simply because they are women. We don’t want to have the YMCA frost its windows in order to hide girls in tights. We don’t want misogynistic preachers who see women as sluts. Nor do we want to have men who beat their wives/partners. And yet, there exist many such men in Quebec. There are even Boards of Directors that exclude women, and so on. What is unacceptable in this debate is that the problems should always considered those of others and that the "rules" are more for others than they are for ourselves.

    1. On top of all that, do we really want to become the first to prioritize fundamental human rights? To put gender equality ahead of the freedom of religion? There are good reasons why this is generally proscribed: to give more value to one over the other is to say that a certain right is less defensible, not to say less legitimate. Therefore, freedom of religion is nothing more than the freedom to think what one wants to think. We should all be willing to lie down before bulldozers in order to ensure that right. Not to mention that women also fought for the freedom to think and act differently…

      In this great debate that is not about to go away, we must stop these automatic thoughts that turn gender equality into a panacea while religion (of others) becomes a calamity. Let us also stop paying attention to those who predict the same fate as Algeria for us. There is no danger of that. There is the danger, however, of the erosion of democratic principles and the ghettoization of many of our citizens, notably that of women.

      "The State is neutral, individuals are free," Charles Taylor recently recalled. That is the basic rule that we mustn’t lose sight of in this perilous debate.

    2. Too bad that some contributors on this blog, that state they are not separatist, do not follow the golden rule of do unto others and live and let live. What a horrible province this is turning into whereby anything not pur laine, white, francophone, is not acceptable even though they gleefully take the money out of their pockets at every turn. They no longer deserve to live among us and I feel it's time to let those areas leave that want to leave Canada. Start playing by the same rules as everyone else or get to hell out of our country! Partition this place quickly.

  29. "Ineptocracy (in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers."

    A very true definition of the separatist party, and it's voters like SR.

    1. Probably the best description/comment I've read here in a long time.....short, succint and bang on!

      + 1 Billion Cutie

    2. Funny how "the least capable to lead are the elected by the least capable of producing" immediately made me think of the PQ... :-)

    3. Wish I could claim credit but alas not my definition - picked it up on FB but thank you anyway Fed up in QC.

  30. Congés religieux en milieu scolaire: tous ne sont pas égaux


    THE GAZETTE, AUGUST 28, 2013

    Re: “When you change country, you change country” (Gazette, Aug. 28)

    Bernard Landry should thank the British Parliament of 1774 for ensuring the survival of the French culture in Quebec by passing the Quebec Act. Otherwise, Mr. Landry, his grandparents and his grandchildren would all be anglos speaking English.

    After 1759, Quebec was handed over to the British from the French. Isn’t that changing country? And, by establishing the two predominant cultures in Canada, English and French, couldn’t that be considered multiculturalism? Accommodations were guaranteed for the French culture way back in 1774. Could not the same spirit of generosity be maintained today?

    Robert Anstee

  32. Student enrolment reaches all-time low at English board


    Encore des propos alarmistes sans fondement.


    Re: “Charter based on ‘universal values’: Marois” and “Searching for a way to effectively fight bullying” (Gazette, Aug. 27)

    If we go on the assumption that people who bully have been or are being bullied themselves, it is quite ironic that the article on Pauline Marois’s “universal” values appeared on the same page as the article “searching for a way to effectively fight bullying.”

    As a psychotherapist, I believe there are always good reasons why people do the things they do, and if they receive the understanding and compassion they need, they can learn to recognize how they are hurting others. This is especially true of children.

    Unfortunately I do not think there is much hope that Marois and her team will ever realize how they are bullying the Quebec population.

    The solution to Quebec’s identity insecurities and the solution to school bullying is not more bullying by people with more power and authority, but more openness, sharing, seeking to understand and compassion by and for all.

    Karen Aronoff

  34. Enjoy the latest video exposing this fraud…


    What is this phony bilingual BS really about?

    Well go check. These so-called French people are grossly over represented in all government jobs, police, health care…outside of Quebec.

    And they have 100% of the government jobs in Quebec where they are NOT bilingual in law…bill 101…mmm.

    See what’s really going on? Corruption, fraud, money laundering…this is what they are good at and they are proud of it.

    Time to put an end to this french power, money grab eh? We, we?

  35. Je crois qu'une rencontre entre le Ministre Lisée et certains anglos s'impose.

    Language advocates are increasingly leery of immigration
    by Martin Patriquin on Friday, September 30, 2011

    If, as one of Quebec’s own websites proclaims, the province is on the hunt for “willing, dynamic people” to immigrate to its shores, then Jessica Rosales almost certainly fits the bill. The college-trained Rosales and her husband, Roberto Belmar Torres, a design engineer, wanted to emigrate from their native Chile and, spurred by a string of cheery, unsolicited emails from Quebec’s Immigration Department, the pair chose to settle in Montreal in March 2010. “We decided on Quebec for the French culture,” the 37-year-old Rosales says. “We chose it even though we knew it would be harder.”

    It certainly was. Because neither could speak the language, they each took a 10-month French course. Save for the occasional nervous breakdown (“I got burned out, I couldn’t stop crying,” says Rosales of one episode) that even prompted the purchase of a pair of one-way tickets to Toronto that they never used, the pair is quite happy with their lives here. They even found jobs in their new-found language. Jessica is an administrative assistant at a refugee resource centre, while Belmar Torres works at a large Montreal engineering firm. They work almost entirely in French.

    Yet increasingly, language advocates are turning this apparent success story into a narrative of decline of the French language in Quebec. The reason: though the pair conduct much of their public lives in French, they speak their native Spanish in the confines of their home. Earlier this year, the governing Liberals announced plans to cut the yearly number of immigrants allowed into the province by 4,000, to 50,000, by 2012, while the the right-of-centre Action démocratique du Québec has called for a further clawback to 46,000. The Parti Québécois believe “immigration should be set at the ability to Frenchify new arrivals,” says PQ spokesperson Éric Gamache, and popular former Péquiste minister François Legault, who is flirting with the idea of running for premier, has called for the number to be capped at 40,000.

    Others are even more strident. “We must become our own country, period,” militant sovereignist Gérald Larose told La Presse in the wake of a report detailing a decrease in the percentage of Quebec-born francophones. His argument: an independent Quebec would have absolute power over its immigration policy.

    On the face of it, so-called “allophones” (immigrants whose native language is neither French nor English) would seem an odd target, and not only because, unlike the Canada-born English population living in Quebec, they are required by law to attend primary and secondary school in French. Like nearly every other province in the country, Quebec is faced with a looming demographic problem brought on by lower birth rates—a void often filled by immigrants. Ontario, for example, took in roughly 104,000 non-refugee immigrants in 2010 alone.

    And even with 54,000 new arrivals a year, Quebec is falling behind. According to demographer Jacques Henripin, the province needs between 70,000 and 80,000 immigrants a year to compensate for its lower birth rate—people like Rosales and Belmar Torres. To Rosales, the idea that Quebec would cut down on the number of immigrants allowed into the province is absurd. “I’m a taxpayer,” she says. “Who needs who?”

    The feeling is often mutual. By and large, Quebecers have long cast a beady eye at Canada’s official policy of multiculturalism; a recent Angus Reid poll noted that 66 per cent of francophones in the province believe multiculturalism is a threat to the French language. Practically every major demographic report released in the province over the last two decades has sparked debate and uproar about the survival of the language.

    1. But does the decline of francophones necessarily mean the decline of French, when those immigrants arriving here must by law attend school in la langue de René Lévesque? Marc Termote thinks so. The demographer authored a recent report illustrating the demographic decline of Quebec-born francophones in the province; he says they will be overtaken as a majority by immigrants by 2031. And while he makes pains to say he isn’t a Larose-style sovereignist—“We don’t need independence to ensure the survival of a language,” he says—he believes the sheer numbers, coupled with the creeping bilingualism of Montreal, is detrimental to the language. “I am one of those people who says that the government should have no say whatsoever over what language is used at home,” Termote says. However, “the problem is that the language used at home becomes the language of the children.”

      This wouldn’t be a problem in, say, the overwhelmingly francophone city of Saguenay. But roughly 75 per cent of Quebec’s immigrants settle in the 500 sq. km of Montreal where, says Termote, “there is free choice in what language you work in.” (Montreal is home to roughly 48,000 businesses with less than 50 employees that don’t fall under the province’s language provisions.) “The problem is Montreal. In the regions there are no problems. You will only speak French in Chicoutimi.”

      “It’s not up to immigrants to resolve the problems of French in Quebec,” Termote adds. “We tell immigrants to have children, because we don’t want to have any. We tell them to go out to the regions, because we don’t want to, we tell them to learn French in a hurry, because French is declining. I can’t accept that the future of the French in Quebec is the responsibility of immigrants.”

      Still others see no problem at all with the immigrant influx into Quebec. Jean-Benoît Nadeau, author of the book The Story of French, recently published a column decrying the accepted definition of the term “francophone” in the province. “French is no longer the language of one ethnic group, but one for all ethnic groups,” Nadeau writes. “Only in Quebec do we tolerate such a restrictive definition. Why not include the woven sash or ketchup tourtière in the definition of francophone while we’re at it? It’s a disgrace.”

      Jessica Rosales agrees. After being courted by the Quebec government (and spending an estimated $13,000 in fees and plane tickets) to get here, then spending nearly a year studying the language, she knows quite well that she can still vote with her feet. “I like Quebec, I like Montreal, but I can live somewhere else.”

    2. UN GARS BIEN SYMPATHIQUE DE FRANKFORTThursday, August 29, 2013 at 5:29:00 PM EDT

      The future of quebec? Concede the island of Montreal, the Dorion pointe attaching the two to Ontario, the outaouais area and quebec can go its own way.
      Benefits? quebec can only owe a fraction of its share of the Canadian debt (say 60% of $140B?)and care also retain all its revenues (taxes) at home. Canada has Montreal and its port and a link in between and the feds retain their infrastructure on the quebec side.
      Downside? quebec will soon realize that without transfer payments it cannot pay its share of its debt to Canada - or its own quebec debt.
      Solution? The IMF can order quebec to exploit its own natural resources in order to repay its two debts. quebec will probably require a bail out to make ends meet for the first few years before it can see any sales of its oil.
      In the end, quebec will become a global curiosity in, say 2050, as it will become a backward, rural poor nation comparable to Cuba. Additionally its population will be mostly old with fewer young adults... adding to the vicious circle of lack of tax revenues.

      Enjoy your quebekistan!!!!

    3. Vas-y mollo avec le Riesling kabinett,ça semble pas compatible avec ta génétique.

  37. La laïcité réunit PQ et CAQ

    All this is excellent for the PQ, who are doing their best to show that Quebec and Canada do not have the same values. When they claim that "les Québécois" support their project, but the rest of Canada doesn't, it's just another great argument for them to claim that Quebec shouldn't be part of Canada.

    What's amusing is the CAQ support... What a surprise, separatists working with separatists. Where are the idiots that kept telling us that the CAQ was the complete opposite of the PQ?

    You CAQ voters are the reason why the PQ is in power today, and why we have to deal with all this crap. The PQ screamed corruption, and you fell for it, without any evidence. Good job. .

    We need to get the PQ/CAQ/Separatists out of office AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

    1. So true Quebecer - notice that good old complicated isn't saying much these days - vote CAQ my ass - a typical separatist that pretends to think about the economy but all the same disturbing racists! So glad I didn't fall into the trap.

  38. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/christopher-sands/civil-rights-quebec_b_3830725.html?ir=Canada

  39. Heh, separatists don't like being called racist / intolerant / xenophobes.


    Si le chapeau te fait...

    1. 3 jours de retard dans les nouvelles...Stumpy


      Justin Trudeau devrait s'excuser


      Quelle gaffe!

    2. @Quebecer - No they sure don't = went on the comments section of the Huffington Post Quebec and pissed a few of them off. LOL - they are so in-bred that they can't see their hand in front of their face. Most annoying people of the face of the earth - they sure suck big time. They don't talk about the economy, jobs, infrastructure, hospital waits, doctors, they even have their debt at 220B rather than the 265B or so, all it is is talk about their country - their country - nothing else in the world even fazes them. Idiots - the lot of them. Time to kick them to hell out of Canada.

    3. Hi Cutie,

      Perhaps you could point out to Maxime (comments in Huff article) that not all anglophones are British.

    4. I did say I've never been to England in my life and that I'm Canadian and proud to be so. They sure don't like being spoken to by an anglophone especially a Canadian. I'm too old and been around for too long to sit back and take any guff from these separatists any longer. Appeasement has not helped the situation in any way whatsoever and they will never be satisfied no matter how much control they have so best to fight back now. I have nothing more to lose except more rights so they'd better be ready for a fight this time around. I said nothing over Bill 101 and could kick myself now but that's the end of my appeasement. Angryphone is now a proper term for the mood that these language nuts have put me in.

  40. http://www.montrealgazette.com/opinion/When+minorities+impose+their+will+other+minorities/8848002/story.html

    1. Excellent article.

      Originally published in a Regina paper:


  41. http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Bill+appears+doomed+Premier+Pauline+Marois+concedes/8848560/story.html

    OMG - This is the best news of the day so far - now let's can the new Charter of Quebec values and get rid of these fascists! Still not sure about the CAQ but let's hope the whole damn thing is dead - just like the ideas of a brain dead population of spoiled brats.

  42. http://www.cjad.com/CJADLocalNews/entry.aspx?BlogEntryID=10583041#comments

  43. http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/harper-on-quebec-values-plan-we-will-protect-fundamental-rights-1.1431947

  44. Ok all stop to all be haters, the fact are the complete country Canada need this type of code about Religion! Why remember the women that got killed in Kington Ontario by the father/husband and son/brother it was what we called a crime of honnor because the girls wanted to live like Canadians??? If the country Canada say NO enough is enough now! In Ontario not too long ago the Charia almost got acceptance! Go check all about this culture and it is not for this country to travel back in time! Unfortunaly when Pierre Elliot Trudeau wrote the Canada Constitutions he didn't have no clues that it could be as dangerous, I believe this Canadians Constitutions rights need to be rewritten for the good sake of all Canadians!

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