Monday, May 5, 2014

Blame the Liar's Club For PQ Election Debacle

"Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose!"

"The pessimistic French expression plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose is very often cut down to just the first clause: plus ça change... / "the more things change..." The shortened French expression is often used in English too, particularly British English.
In either language, plus ça change indicates a certain disillusionment or resignation regarding whatever is being talked about. A company makes all kinds of policy changes, for example, but the personnel issues are unaffected. A couple go to marriage counseling, but continue fighting about everything. A new sheriff comes to town, but there is no noticeable impact on crime. New people, new promises, but the same old problems - plus ça change...." Link
In 2008 Jean Charest called a snap election after just twenty months in office, much to the surprise of pundits and in fact his political opposition. The Liberal government was at risk, as are all minority governments, but clearly the CAQ and the PQ were of no mind to bring down the government and so Charest's motives were suspect.

But his sweeping victory leading to a majority government made those questions moot and Charest's keen political sense of timing was feted by friends and grudgingly admired by foes.

But the reality behind the election call was far more sinister than anyone would suspect. The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec ( CDPQ,) the province's national pension plan fund had suffered a hitherto undisclosed financial meltdown, losing a fifth of its values in the Wall street collapse of 2008, having heavily invested in worthless sub-prime mortgages.
The $40 billion dollar loss was still secret in the Fall of 2008 and was scheduled to be revealed a few months later, in the Spring of 2009, when the fund would be required to deposit its annual report.
That revelation was bound to rock the province and would likely lead to the fall  of the Liberal government, brought down by an emboldened opposition, with the Liberals likely to face the wrath of furious voters.
And so for Charest, calling the election early wasn't a case of brilliant insight, it was a case of now or never, a cynical decision to roll the dice while conditions were optimal.

Although Charest's gamble paid off, he was never forgiven by Quebecers for his dishonest failure to disclose and although he won a new term, the writing was on the wall for his political career.
As revelations and accusations of corruption emerged during that term, a cynical public chose to believe the worst and Charest's proclamations of innocence fell upon deaf ears.

In 2012, with over a year left on his mandate, Charest went back to his successful playbook, calling another early election, this time in the face of the upcoming Charbonneau Commission inquiry (looking into corruption in the construction industry) that he was forced to call because of mounting public pressure. Fearing that the revelations over the next year would so damage the party, Charest felt it precipitous  to roll the dice again.
This time the public wasn't buying what he was selling.
Fool me once......

Pauline Marois and the PQ rode into power on a white horse, claiming an innocent reputation and promising an honest and  corruption free government, something enough voters bought despite the independence baggage that the party lugged around like a ball and chain.
But the PQ was no different than the Liberals when it came to self-interest and set out to govern not for the benefit of the people, but rather with but one single and unique goal, to propel themselves into a majority government as soon as possible.

And so it would seem that in dumping Jean Charest and the Liberals in favour of Pauline Marois and the Parti Quebecois, Quebecers had in effect swapped four quarters for a Looney, with the added catch of a separatist agenda.

At first the PQ planned on the Charbonneau Commission doing the dirty work for it, that is, to destroy the credibility of the Liberal party, with revelations of corruption and malfeasance. But surprisingly, over the next months, the expected fallout over purported Liberal Party misdeeds just never materialized.
In fact the very opposite occurred with revelations at the inquiry impugning the honesty of Pauline's husband with allegations that he was paid off by Quebec's biggest union to influence her on its behalf.

This uncomfortable turn of events was exacerbated by a deteriorating financial situation, with the provincial deficit building higher and higher.
And so a desperate PQ decided to call an audible, launching the Charter of Values, the us versus them proposition limiting certain religious freedom of minorities in Quebec.The Charter of Values would divide Quebecers, forcing them to choose one camp or another, with the PQ hoping that the province's francophone majority, imbued with a collective persecution complex, would range on their side in enough numbers to carry an election based on the issue.

In the afterglow of some positive opinion poll numbers placing the PQ ahead of the Liberals and the seemingly majority support for the Charter, the PQ, like Charest, decided to roll the dice, calling a snap election, with no compelling reason, other than to secure a majority government.

It didn't quite work out, for reasons we all know.
The Liberal party artfully played up the referendum fear and the PQ swallowed the bait, hook, line and sinker.
The rest is history, the PQ suffering a humiliating defeat and the reborn Liberals under Philippe Couillard marching back into office with a majority mandate.

But here is not where the story ends, it is where it begins, with revelations that the PQ lied about certain aspects of the Charter of Values and its contention that it was based on solid constitutional advice.

It turns out that the PQ never sought a solid legal opinion over the Charter's constitutionality from it's own Justice department, something that Bernard Drainville (the cabinet minister that godfathered the bill) and Marois hinted obliquely that they had.
Now defenders of the PQ tell us that the party did seek some informal opinions from an ex-Supreme Court justice and a constitutional professor, but the public wasn't buying the story with howls of rage and betrayal echoing across the media and accusations of dishonesty and outright lying leveled at the PQ across the board.

Lost in all this is how Philippe Couillard knew this truth. Let's go back a bit and refresh our memories over Couillard's announcement in the middle of the campaign that should he be elected, he would ask that any official legal opinions over the Charter be revealed. It turned out to be a brilliant political move.
The Liberal party must have received its own legal advice that overwhelmingly concluded that the proposed law was unconstitutional, meaning that there was no way that the PQ could have any legitimate legal opinion in hand backing the Charter, it just wasn't possible.
Caught in the lie, Pauline changed her tune in mid campaign, now advising us that she'd invoke the Notwithstanding Clause to force the Charter through in the face of a constitutional challenge, something which the justice minister Bernard St. Arnaud and Bernard Drainville,  told us previously would be unnecessary.

In the aftermath of all this, it has become clear that the Charter was but a ploy, meant to be passed in an unconstitutional form with the expectation that the Supreme Court would disallow it, providing the PQ with ammunition to trigger a nasty philosophical dispute with Ottawa that would hopefully enrage Quebecers and launch the province towards sovereignty.

It was a Machiavellian plot that totally betrayed those loyalists in the media and the public who supported the Charter in good faith based on the PQ's assurance that the bill was a necessary element for Quebec society and the promise that the law would pass the constitutional test.
It was a particularly cruel trick, a deception not easily digested and for the PQ, being tossed out of office is only the beginning, with recriminations to hound the party for years, like the federal Liberals in relation to the Sponsorship Scandal.

As far as Pauline's reputation goes, it is in tatters and as for Bernard Drainville, who managed to survive the election debacle and retain his seat, it's a case of playing out the string, he is totally discredited and finished politically.
Asked to answer to the media for his acts of deception over the Charter, he has told reporters that he'll no longer answer questions over the issue, because he's no longer in charge of the file.
Try as he might to distance himself from the fiasco, he can run, but he cannot hide. Drainville's name shall forever be linked to the Charter and the stink of dirty politics.
His dream of winning the PQ leadership is also in ruins, his reputation destroyed for lying and crass manipulation of the Charter as an election ploy. His uncompromising attitude and hardline defense of the Charter seen by the PQ membership as a key element in their defeat.

All that said, Philippe Couillard has promised to do politics differently, but it remains to be seen if he is just paying lip service or is really committed to acting for the people in an honest and forthright manner instead of for himself and his political party as is the history of all Quebec provincial governments.

As for being afforded the benefit of the doubt by those who elected him and the Liberals, Couillard should count on none. Quebecers are fed up with betrayal and are no longer interested in assuming that their leaders are honest.

In the eyes of the public, he is guilty until proven innocent and that readers is probably a good thing.


  1. Editor: You wrote "...for Bernard Drainville, ...its a case of playing out the string, he is totally discredited and finished politically."
    "Try as he might to distance himself from the fiasco, he can run, but he cannot hide. Drainville's name shall forever be linked to the Charter and the stink of dirty politics."

    You have proven my point all along. Just too many of French Quebec's inhabitants are bigoted village idiots. Who needs the bastards, just as Howard Galganov labeled them in his book of about 18 years ago?

    You state all these derogatory facts about Mr. Braindrain, rightfully so mind you, yet the people in his constituency still elected him. Perhaps there will be a stench on him, and now he'll just sweep his garbage under his bed. Out of sight out of mind.

    There will be this "stench" politically about him. So what? He'll relax and recline in his seat the next four years and collect a nice paycheque for doing sweet f--k-all. As for being able to run and not hide, what are opposition backbenches for? I don't know if he was in opposition before the PQ election, but one thing for sure now, he will have been in office for a year and a half and another 3½ years in the Assembly will give him the five years he needs to collect his golden MNA pension. With the PLQ majority, this should easily be possible and for just five years in office, he'll collect a more generous pension than most people in the private sector who have nothing, or have to work 35 years to get a pension that works out to not much more than what he'll get for just five years. His will be somewhat enhanced because he was a cabinet minister.

    Nice work if you can get it!

    The fact his constituents voted him in yet again, along with about 1/3 of French Quebec's total population (about 43% of the French-speaking population) are pro-sovereignty and for a homogenous population of their own kind to me still proves that too much of Quebec is not worthy of being a part of Canada. Far from it.

    I supposed Harper was biding his time to see how this flea circus would play itself out, and I'm really disillusioned the PLQ won because this would have given Harper a no-brainer decision to cut French Quebec out of equalization, and I would have been perfectly fine with that. Gosh-darn-shucks, though, the separatist-lite PLQ won!

    I don't now know how Harper is going to split the equalization pie, but I have a feeling I won't like it as much as I would have had the PQ come in at full blast.

  2. The most amazing part about the Charter is how it is leading to the destruction of the Parti Quebecois as we know it.

    The revelations about Despicable Drainville have sunk his leadership chances.
    And we know that while Jean-Francois Lisée is a media darling because he'll talk about everything, he's too elitist for the rank and file and party brass sees him as being too much of a failed manipulator.

    This means the clear frontrunner in the leadership race is.... PKP -- the worst employer in Quebec, and the man diametrically opposed to every social program the PQ has ever implemented.

    The PQ bet the farm on the Charter and it blew up in their faces so badly that the party is going to dissolve. IF PKP is chosen leader the next provincial election will see unions backing Quebec Solidaire.


    1. No Kevin, No. It's not the Charter that blew up in their faces, it was PKP's declaration that his raison d'être for coming on board was «un payee!»

      Like most of the electorate, you have a short memory. Remember how at first Couillard said Bill 60 would pass over his dead body, and then he backpeddled?

      Oh, yes, and his promises about bilingualism? Bou-Bou made similar promises about better tolerating English on signs, relaxing education requirements for entry to English schools, and creating a more equitable balance in the public service. Election day was December 2, 1985, and by December 3rd, all those promises were never heard from again, and in fact Bou-Bou screwed the minorities yet AGAIN with his Bill 178 exercising the Notwithstanding Clause against all his promises three years later. It cost him three excellent cabinet ministers in the process.

      The question now is if PKP will even stick around. He has far more to gain monitarily by going back to the media empire his father bequeathed to him. If he stays around, his investment for doing so will be to strengthen his political connections and perhaps implement his own agenda to benefit his empire, and maybe, just maybe, a portion of the general population.

    2. It's unlikely PKP can be happy being nobody without any power. He thought he was going to be the new finance and media minister.

      He already was reading up on Berlesccni and how to turn Quebec into his own playground just like him.

      Now he's going to get one chance a week to talk. He's going to have to sit on the sidelines and pretend that his company is behind a chinease investment wall.

      Thankfully with pretend meetings in lawyers offices he can still run the company from afar. Client privilege don;t ya know! Who's to say what he does and who he calls.

      It's going to get annoying very quickly for PKP to not be in charge.

      Look for him to bounce within 6 months for sure.

      Quebecor is bascially the multinational version of Tony Accurso.

      They manage to "capture" virtually all the business happening in the province. What they don;t earn the Quebec govt just straight up gives them. Like Videotron to Quebecor.

      Don;t look for Couillard to change any of this.

      He's a Liberal with ministers looking for friends. Thankfully the construction industry (mafia) and unions are there to help them.

      It will be different this time. You need to be soft in the head to believe that crap.

      Quebec values are cultural. A Leopard can no more change his spots then a Quebecer work hard, pay taxes or get a legitimate business contract.

    3. @Sauga
      THe guy who doesn't know when DRainville was first elected says others have a short memory?

  3. Corruption and lying are not unique to Quebec. At present, they just seem to have the lions share of it. I had expected better but I guess I was wrong. The PQ may be down and wounded but not out. They will simply dust themselves off, claim that they are now cleaner that clean and all this nonsense will begin again. Quebec will still be french only and the economy a mess. Face the facts. Anglos are not welcome. Heck they are barely tolerated. I left there many years ago and have never looked back. There actually is a grand life outside of Quebec. Even francophones are welcome.
    The problem with talk of separation is that so far it is only talk. Talk is cheap. People can say anything until separation actually occurs and the people actually experience it. Experience is the great educator. But don't go half hearted. Go for full separation, almost total isolation. French only on everything even tombstones, monuments, instruction manuals, trucks, etc. Even tourists must be fully french speaking to visit. No cross border jobs. Passports and green cards required. Just like USA and Canada. You get the picture. Then we will see if it was such a success or not.

    1. Right on, Bob! With very, very few exceptions, everybody I know who left Quebec took a one-way trip, and few regret leaving. I think those that did and returned didn't give their new environment a chance. I too had to leave my family, but I was just starting out in the world and I knew my world outside Quebec would be with less resistence than had I remained.

      Like you wrote in your second paragraph, talk IS cheap. It's not as if Couillard's majority victory is going to stop the moans and groans of separatist talk, and I want separation so we don't have to give French Quebec equalization or any federal programs anymore. French Quebec gets far more out of the federal system than it puts in, so I don't see separation hurting most of the rest of Canada. The St. Lawrence Seaway doesn't belong to French Quebec so they can't have it. CP owns a one-mile strip of land right through continental Canada, so French Quebec can't have it. Too, because French Quebec has always had a corridor through it to access the Maritimes, there would have to be an easement to enable people and commerce to continue its accessible easement through French Quebec.

      If French Quebec would want to be part of NAFTA, it would have to comply with ease of movement of people and commerce to have a hope in hell to be part ot NAFTA. Canada could otherwise veto French Quebec's entry into NAFTA as unanimity is required for other countries to join. Chile joined.

  4. Even though I despise him, Stephen Harper deserves some credit. His government, which barely registers among Quebec voters, stood on the sidelines and watched the PQ score on their own net. He didn't fall for any of the goads coming from the PQ with respect to the racist PQ Charter of Values. We didn't hear a peep from Ottawa which at the time was a bit disconcerting but in hindsight quite masterful. The PQ failed to get their Charter passed, they failed to draw in Ottawa into yet another jurisdictional knife fight, they failed to secure a majority which they had hoped and they failed to stay in power. Losers, the whole lot of them. As for Bernard Drainville, his name is mud. A political tar baby that will forever be tied to that dark chapter in Quebec's history. People don't back liers and this guy told a Doozie for months on end. He even chaired hearings into the matter knowing full well his position was built on sand. It takes balls to mislead the people like that for so long. Expect him to be part of the PQ's spring cleaning at the top effort. There is a reason politicians score well below used car salesmen on the like-ability index, used car salesmen only put the shaft to you once while politicians screw you over and over again.

    1. Drainville is the perfect employee for a Quebec construction or engineering firm.

      He's got all the credentials they need. Bullshitting liar with political connection.

      Now it's payback time for all the losers the PQ gave jobs to. They are all going to need to donate now.

    2. Fear not, L.D. and cebeuq. There are enough seppie sympathizers to take Braindrain under their wing.

  5. In Pontiac, all the township of the counties are facing significant hurdles, and surprisingly it isn't Bill 101. It's another, even worst, PQ boondoggle. Let's put the situation in the context of one of the western Pontiac largest township, Allumette Island (population 1000): "Attracting business and new residents is a challenge because much of the Island is designated agricultural green zone, with some of this land not sufficiently rich enough for agricultural development." (

    Now, to understand the issue of agricultural protection in Quebec, we need to go back in 1976, the election of the René Levesque with the PQ. One legislation passed was designed to protect agricultural land and established la Commission de protection du territoire agricole du Québec (CPTAQ). The goal of that government tribunal was designed to protect sensitive agricultural land especially near Greater Montreal. Now, while the Commission had merit, it failed. It was seen as an improvement by many over the previous, largely municipally-run system of agriculture protection. At issue, is the CPTAQ largely became over bureaucratic and failed in it's goal of protecting agricultural land in the Greater Montreal region, while holding too much sway in farther region, where the development are less economic and developers are less likely to go to the hassle of going to the commission.

    In BC, the government is considering modification to the system that would split the land protection in two: one for Victoria and Vancouver and another one for the rest of the province. ( In Ontario, the system is more complex but Ottawa and Toronto are surrounded by Greenbelt partly comprised of protected farmland. This system works best combining the need for agricultural protection in larger centres and the need for developable land in more regional cities.
    It's more easy to develop land in Pontiac neighbour, Pembroke, in Renfrew County, ON, which now has a larger population than Pontiac. Now, this isn't an anti-french policy nor am I quebec-bashing, nor I am a francophobe or whenever the accusation will criticize, because both French and English are leaving the county, 200 between 2011 and 2006. The region isn't growing, the tax base is reducing making it harder to pay for roads and sidewalk.

    1. yes you already wrote that liam. please stop copying and pasting the same crap from post to post. it gets cumbersone.

    2. lol student those in glass houses...

      @Liam The people of the Pontiac should just get in touch with Pauline's Husband and his business associates, they had no problems getting farmland rezoned for developments and making themselves rich in the process, all it takes are a few bribed here and there, just get a man to claim he's been living in a shack on the land for 30 years, pay him a couple of grand, and bam, you've got yourself land for your reine's mansion.

  6. Instead of the charter the PQ should have published a white paper on independence the way Scotland did and laid out its plans exactly.

    1. Wrong! Instead if the Charter or White papers on how to break up this country the minority PQ government should have offered us good government . No grandiose schemes. No offensive laws.

    2. @jay and @jf

      you guys are joking right? the pq did offer exactly what you think they should have offered: a white paper on quebec's political future and a good government. why weren't you aware? blame your media, and maybe your lazyness not to feed on quality french sources.

    3. @Student

      They have offered nothing like what Scotland has. If they had, why would Marois have said something as silly as having a seat on the Bank of Canada?

      It's time to move the discussion beyond slogans and 'feelings' and towards details.

    4. @jay

      they have offered to write that white book, along with the people, in their mandate if they won. just like you wish. didn't you read their program? you should have done so, cause ctv and the national post won't tell you anything about it. they like to keep the angryphones captive.

      and marois answered why not to a journlaist who asked her if quebe would have a seat on the bank of canada. what would you have answered?!? why would canada not have someone to represent a quarter of the canadian dollar users?!? it would be in canada's interest to keep quebec as a happy user of its currency.

    5. I've never understood why that white paper wasn't presented before all this talk of separating. Instead, the seppies want to separate first and find out what the ramifications are. After all, there have been 2 referendums and no white paper. Kind of like putting the cart before the horse. How do you know things will be better after separation if no one as done any planning?

      @student: Why don't Panama, Equador, El Salvador, the British Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos, Bermuda, the Bahamas, the former members of the Netherlands Antilles, Lebanon, Hong Kong, Macau, and Saudi Arabia get at least a token seat on the US Federal Reserve Board, since they all either use the US dollar or have their own currencies pegged to it? Even suggesting it would be laughable.

      The seppies want the freedom of a divorce while keeping all the benefits of marriage. How could you imagine that the RoC accept such a deal?

    6. No, Student, they have offered nothing close to what Scotland has done. Too bad, they might have done better in the election if they had.

    7. A PQ white paper on separation. I'm sure it will be all facts and truth. Wink wink nudge nudge.

    8. The PQ already wrote a white paper on separation, it was a piece of fiction that no serious person touched with a ten foot pole, the rest of Quebec wiped their behinds with it and moved on with their lives.

    9. And where can we find this piece of toilet paper? Lol

    10. @confusedinquebec

      "I've never understood why that white paper wasn't presented before all this talk of separating. Instead, the seppies want to separate first and find out what the ramifications are."

      no, that's not it. the white paper was to be done before a referendum would be on the table. you should have read the pq program too. you missed out on a great democratic exercise.

      "How do you know things will be better after separation if no one as done any planning?"

      well it's easy to guess freedom will be better than remaining stuck as a mere province in a country that's all culturally much different.

      "Why don't Panama, Equador, El Salvador, the British Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos, Bermuda, the Bahamas, the former members of the Netherlands Antilles, Lebanon, Hong Kong, Macau, and Saudi Arabia get at least a token seat on the US Federal Reserve Board, since they all either use the US dollar..."

      because all the little countries are not heavy enough in the balance for the usa to care. in the case of the canadian dollar, it would be in canada's interest to consider advice from a dude that would represent a quarter of the canadian dollar users. in the case of saudi arabia, i am quite confident that their interest is well taken into account by the federal reserve board.

      "The seppies want the freedom of a divorce while keeping all the benefits of marriage."

      no they don't. they want good faith negociations leading to a clean and fair split.

    11. There will be NO MORE NEGOTIATIONS WITH QUEBEC! It's over! Either become a fully contributing province in this country or get used to partition and go your own damn way only with what we Canadians allow you to take! WE HAVE SAID NO! MORE THAN ENOUGH TIMES TO YOUR DAMN BLACKMAIL, LAZY ASS MOVEMENT - Take off, get a job and mind your own business! STOP RUINING OUR PROVINCE WITH YOUR BASELESS COMPLAINTS! GET A JOB, GET A JOB! But don't procreate for Christ's sake - we have far too many of your useless asses here now! That is how there will be a "clean and fair split"!

    12. @cutie003

      you're mad, bro.

    13. @Cutie darlin'

      I was wondering what had happened to you! You go girl!

      (What she said!!)

    14. @Student

      "well it's easy to guess freedom will be better than remaining stuck as a mere province in a country that's all culturally much different."

      A lot of Quebec is culturally quite similar to Canada. Wouldn't it be better for everyone for those parts of Quebec to remain a part of Canada?

    15. @jay

      i don't agree with your premise. which area do you think is "culturally quite similar" to canada?!?

    16. For starters the parts where my family live. And then pretty much any non-francophone part. The parts that always vote no in referendums and Liberal in elections. If you let those parts go you would easily have a majority.

    17. @jay

      what are the non-francophone parts of quebec in your humble opinion jay?

    18. Let's let Wikipedia handle this:

      "English-speaking Quebecers reside mostly in the Greater Montreal Area, where they have built a well-established network of educational, social, economic, and cultural institutions. There are also historical English-speaking communities in the Eastern Townships, the Ottawa Valley, and the Gaspé Peninsula.[1]"

    19. @jay

      i read the article and i didn't see any area that's has demographics even remotely "quite similar to canada". therefore nowhere in quebec is the culture "quite similar to canada". until you provide another source that will prove otherwise jay.

    20. I don't think you know enough about the culture of Canada. Maybe you've been too affected by the Toronto propaganda.

    21. @jay

      come on mate. you're telling me quebec areas where your english mates are settled, "non-francophone parts", are culturally similar to canada. and to prove your point you fetch a page that says the area where anglos are more numerous is montreal island with 16.8% of the population. this obviously doesn't prove your point at all. you're just proving there are no "non-francophone parts" in quebec. hence nowhere is it "culturally quite similar to canada".

    22. But you can't get enough votes. And you could if you left out Montreal.

  7. Jay, I would love to see a PQ "white paper on independence". It would be a gift that keeps on giving for their federalist opponents. They would predict a Quebec that closely resembles Quebec as a province except for the restraint imposed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and various symbolic issues like no lieutenant governor, etc. They have no choice except to project an imaginary 'Quebec Libre' which assumes a painless transition to a photocopy of the society that we are presently living in. But we all know, from their recent behaviour, that Quebec Libre would be considerably less free, for individual citizens - particularly anglos and allos - than Quebec as part of Canada. The PQ will have time on their hands for the next 4.5 years. Let's hope they fall into the trap and explain what would come out at the other end of their peculiar sausage machine if they could separate.

    And re the pending leadership "race" I agree that Drainville is finished. Editor - you would enjoy (U.S.) Senator Al Franken's 2003 satirical book : "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them". Re PKP - Cebeug, I think you are on to something. When the going gets tough, PKP quits. I have also heard some very, very, very credible rumours that Peladeau has some personal baggage that will surface, sooner or later. The subject of these rumours is (a) women, and (b) some kind of white powder. Stay Tuned !

    If the PQ follows the advice of Parizeau and the denizens of they will double down on independence and pester the Liberals constantly on identity issues. How and when they can return to power, if the CAQ stays credible, is beyond the ken of this humble voter but I am looking forward immensely to the next four years. Those of us old enough to remember the gradual fade to black of Real Caouette and his Creditistes or even the Union Nationale are in for some deja vu all over again. You are bang on Editor ... la plus ca change...

    1. Just how is the Canadian Charter of Rights restraining Quebec now?

    2. Edward J., the federal charter, and the Quebec charter - as presently drafted - would both have prevented Bill 60 and the PQ from telling religious folks what hats they could wear if the particular hat were considered by the government to be an ostentatious religious symbol. The federal charter has also, from time to time, prevented some of the more outrageous provisions of the Charter of the French Language from prevailing - such as prohibiting any English on signs.

      These types of charters/bills of rights give paramountcy to individual rights. The PQ (which must be distinguished from "Quebec") is very serious about making their antique version of "collective rights" paramount over certain individual rights. The PQ want to get down to some serious discrimination against some religious folks (not Roman Catholics) but our present laws are an obstacle. If they had not been defeated their only way around the charter of rights problem would have been to amend the Quebec charter, to suit themselves, (see Bill 60, as drafted) and to invoke the right to opt out of the federal charter, for 5 years at a time.

      That's how.

    3. Good points, Mr. McTire. If I may add: Support for "collective rights" in Quebec isn't confined to the PQ, but seems to be a core belief of all Quebec "nationalists." I recall Claude Ryan, when he was provincial Liberal leader, arguing that collective rights must take precedence over individual rights.
      "Collective rights" trumping "individual rights" makes me think of seven guys swarming one teenager and stealing his iPod and wallet. Hey. collective rights take precedence!

  8. On a tangent, but a news story that shouldn't be overlooked, another 100 jobs in Montreal will disappear this August. Not just any jobs though,The Montreal Gazette is closing down its printing operations plant in NDG and outsourcing it outside of Quebec.

    I know...I know...print newspapers and magazines are a dying breed in general, but this is just another nail in the coffin for Montreal's last remaining daily English newspaper.

  9. And speaking of a gift that keeps on giving, how about that Charter folks? Didn't we know that legal action against the PQ would be forthcoming sooner or later?

    From The Gazette.

    Muslim woman sues for damages after hateful messages over charter debate

    "By posting defamatory and erroneous information about her over a period of six months, the defendants tried to ruin Awada's reputation and created hate toward her, the lawsuit claims."

    And so they did, and sooooo they did!!! They did it to all the Muslims, and to other religious people, those rabid xenophobes, with wind in their sails from a government who was supposed to represent everyone. The zombies went ape-shit over the charter, practically chanting and drooling over how they were going put those pesky immigrants in their place. Make sure Quebec remains a nice, whites-only kinda place to live.

    Louise Mailloux, bullies are in for some fun!

    And the entertainment just won't stop!

    1. Yep...told ya' ...and this is just the beginning. I saw that interview on TLMEP, I had heard this was forthcoming, wait till many more of these women who were tormented and deeply hurt come forth, and they will, especially since these clowns lied about the legitimacy of the charter. Lol. I hope they are wiped cleaned and this sets a precedent about HUMAN RIGHTS IN THIS PROVINCE AND COUNTRY. Then we can all have a Field day.

    2. Montreal, I agree that this is just the beginning. I haven't read the comments that Ms Awada is upset about but she has an arguable case and it seems that the three defendants slandered her over a period of time, using their real names ! Look for a confidential settlement about 6 months - I year from now.

      Chantal Hebert, who is a pretty astute observer of Quebec politics, has said that the Marois PQ "sowed the ground with salt" before they were defeated. That is, they destroyed whatever inroads they had made over the last 20 years among new immigrants - particularly French speaking Moroccans - during the 8 month charter of values debate. And going forward few immigrants will think of the PQ as their party. This is a field day that is going to last for years.

    3. Arrogance has always been the PQ's downfall. Even now, that they were slapped silly and humiliated in the last election they refuse to stand down, and eat their slice of humble pie. As for the 'confidential settlement' you mention, I wouldn't be too sure. Rumor has it, these women want their pound of flesh, and won't be bought. Gone are the days when the internal pulse of a community could be contained, because of local media censuring what would get published and disclosed. Social media has all societies under the microscope globally, all the time in real time. The charter of no values will be the gift that will keep on giving, ....just you watch.

    4. Montreal, I prefer to think of it as the Charter of Parti Quebecois Values. They will wear it for many years. Its in a direct line from Duplessis' padlock laws. Does the name Roncarelli ring a bell for any of you older readers ? Yes, Montreal, I am watching. I hope I have enough popcorn to get me through the next 4 years !

    5. Roncarelli v. Duplessis [1959] S.C.R. 121, was a landmark constitutional decision of the Supreme Court of Canada where the Court held that Maurice Duplessis, the premier of Quebec, had overstepped his authority by revoking the liquor licence of a Jehovah's Witness. Justice Rand wrote in his often-quoted reasons that the unwritten constitutional principle of the "rule of law" meant no public official was above the law, that is, they could neither suspend it or dispense it. Although Premier Duplessis had authority under the relevant legislation, his decision was not based on any factors related to the operation of the licence, but was made for unrelated reasons, and was therefore held to be exercised arbitrarily and without good faith. [link]

      Marois was exactly duplicating the traditional politics of Duplessis with her statement “You voted the right way” when she gave a generous pre-election government subsidy to a Gaspe cement plant, even though all the others in the province are operating far below capacity.

      Drainville’s charter proposal was one of the most egregious recent examples of a Quebec government acting without good faith.

      Really, if it were such a good idea, it should not be this difficult for the PQ to attain sovereignty. They keep failing despite resorting to using lies, deceit and trickery in trying to achieve their goal. If sovereignty were such a good idea, if would have been easily accomplished already, a long time ago.

    6. Really, if it were such a good idea, it should not be this difficult for the PQ to attain sovereignty.

      What a coincidence… in today’s paper, something else for the profoundly indoctrinated to ignore:

      “An English-language commentator who implied that Quebecers are too thick to understand an idea that they’ve been hearing about for more than 50 years would be called a “Quebec-basher” and a “francophobe.” Yet among the sovereignists who profess to love the Quebec people more than anybody else does, there seems to be a widespread belief that the people still need to have sovereignty explained to them.”

      From: Bill 101 has eroded the impetus for sovereignty

    7. It is so true if you think about it, bill 101 did THEM in long ago, on the sovereignty issue. Had it never passed, their chances would have been likely been 100% that quebec would have been independent, 4 decades ago.They screwed themselves over even before getting started.

    8. Actually, had it never been introduced to begin with, is what I meant.

    9. That Don MacPherson article is as old as the hills. This was discussed and written about over a decade ago, i.e., Bill 101 has given French Quebec "deemed" sovereignty if not de facto sovereignty.

      It is therefore no surprise that those born post-Bill 101 are more relaxed about their identity. It actually achieved what the government wanted - a framework, a comfort about being able to speak French with impunity. Too bad it doesn't do this for other languages, esp. English as English is still an official language of Canada on equal terms with French.

    10. But remember, sovereignty wasn't the original goal, it was sovereignty-association and a 'new deal with Canada.' And there is a new deal and Quebec and Canada have changed a lot - more than just making the federal government bilingual and giving more power to the Quebec government (with things like overseas immigration offices, Quebec pension plan and so on).

      What's strange to me, is that as Canada drifts further to the right and towards a more American-style society (as the power shifts further west in Canada), Quebec separatists never tried to sell the idea of a more European-style liberal-democratic society to the entire Quebec population. That might have appealed to more people, even Anglos and Allophones who traditionally have been more liberal-left than western Canada, but that didn't happen and the movement has remained pretty much ethnic. And now, bringing in guys like PKP makes the idea of a left-leaning nationalism even harder.

      So now the goal seems to be simply Canada in French. Or even just the USA in French. Maybe that was the original goal for some people but for those who talked so much about the "culture" is seems like a pyrrhic Victoria at best.

    11. @jay

      "And there is a new deal..."

      what new deal? you mean the 1982 constitution that quebec doesn't want to sign? i don't think 1982 thing was what rené lévesque and original pq were after. haha. how dare you suggest such a thing jay?

    12. @r.s

      "Really, if it were such a good idea, it should not be this difficult for the PQ to attain sovereignty."

      propaganda is a powerful weapon. you are well aware of this i'm sure. quebeckers have been told time and time again that they're not good enough to take care of themselves. too many of them believe this shit.

    13. The propaganda flows both ways. Are you sure you're not a victim of it, too?

    14. @jay

      i'm quite confident, yes.

    15. Have you ever once been able to convince a non-francophone that separation would be better?

    16. @jay

      i never really tried to convince anyone of that. if it happened it's a side effect of my hobby.

    17. But it's the main reason you don't have a country. Lots of francophones are federalist so but zero non-francophones are separatists. Maybe enough francophones will become separatists and maybe enough non-francophones will leave Quebec but it will always be an odd, divided country unless you can find a way to unite people.

      So far Canada has done a much better job of bringing francophones into confederation than Quebec has at bringing non-francophones into separatism. So, I guess the question is, do you want a country or a specific kind of country?

    18. @jay

      "Lots of francophones are federalist so but zero non-francophones are separatists."

      almost true. the problem separatists have is they need to fight against toronto propaganda machine who's having a ball painting separatists as racist hicks. i wouldn't have sympathy for separatists either if i was under such an influence.

      "...unless you can find a way to unite people."

      i agree it would be best if quebec anglos figured out their homeland would be a better place to live if the politics were sorted.

      "the question is, do you want a country or a specific kind of country?"

      specific kind: a good one.

    19. So, it's the Toronto propaganda and the Anglos have to overcome that themselves? It's been forty years, is this really the best you've got? There's nothing more you can do?

    20. @jay

      "'s the Toronto propaganda and the Anglos have to overcome that themselves?"

      well, i'm here to help, but it's difficult. the angryphones you meet here really don't want to read jf lisée's blog or listen to jean-martin aussant's speeches. deep down they know they'll have to acknowledge separatits have a point, and it's never easy to have to change your whole conception on things.

      their biggest mistake is taking the smallest hint as a big proof the separatists are cooked, like the bloc fading, or a pq internal battle or just anything. ain't going to happen mate. unless french canadians are assimilated to canadian, or american, culture. and of course you don't want that to happen as quebec wouldn't be this special place anymore, right? so the solution is to embrace the french thing, support it, and carry on being the lively english minority that you already are. a normal country. no more separation talk. it'd be great!

    21. @Student

      Well, the momentum makes it look like Canada will be the normal country with a lively French minority. If it's acceptable for Quebec to have a minority of Anglos it should be acceptable for Canada to have a minority of Francophones.

      It's possible that you will have to change your conception of things (not your whole conception, just some of it).

      Assimilation is a complicated thing and there are many ways it happens and doesn't. But it's not the 19th century anymore and we're sophisticated enough to be more than one thing. We can be Irish-Canadians and Québécois-Canadians and Chinese-Canadians and a lot of other things. We can be union-members and union-busters, we can have dogs or cats or even, crazy as it sounds, both.

  10. You know, it's amazing what you can find if you look hard enough. I was just on Google Earth looking at the street view of 7th Avenue and Rue Saint Louis in Lachine, and do you know what I noticed. All the stop signs are in English only. Not even bilingual. Where are the mass demonstrations, the language police, or even the PQ pointing at it and screaming "we are doomed". What about all the drivers who don't understand and just ignore it. Oh, the humanity. Why is this not front page news all across Quebec. The future of the language is in trouble.

    1. looking for stop signs on google earth?!? dude you are making an obsession of this language thing. there are other more important issues like climate change and poverty.

  11. Scathing rebuke of the PQ and it's Charter shenanigans by Gerard Bouchard.

    1. @Lord D

      Thank you for that link. It is an outstanding letter. Please, @all contributors to this blog, you must read it. It is so well articulated and written there isn't anything to add, except perhaps, the Letter-writer never suggests that an Apology is in order by the Parti québécois to the citizens of this province for their lack of integrity, their deceitfulness and total and complete lack of respect. AND their Apology to Muslim women and ethnics is also long overdue as well. After they do that, they can pretty much go screw themselves.


    1500 jobs. Ouch!

    Not only in Quebec of course but head office here..

  13. The gift that keeps on giving:

    "Quebec Solidaire's Françoise David, for her part, brought forward her own explanation.
    "If its true, that means the Péquiste government lied.""

    I am sure that Mme David would never say such a thing, unless it were true.

    1. let's revisit the facts here mate as you seem a bit lost in your own turmoil.

      pq said they had legal advice. and it turns out they did. lpq said they didn't. who lied?

      then couillard promised to make the legal opinions public. then he doesn't do it. who lied?


    I give him three months and he resigns. They will not make him Leader, most are too mad at him and nobody holds a grudge like these Losers. Yep...three months tops.

    1. maybe he's fine with not being the leader subito. he's a philosophy graduate you know? he's a newbie to politics. maybe he's more patient than you think. maybe he's there for the good reasons. unlike your usual lpq flock who's in for the pillaging (except fatima houda pepin of course)..

    2. It's the best silliest kind of Quebec thinking tho.

      "However, commissioner Jacques Saint-Laurent says his findings or requirements will not be released to the public."

      That's to "protect us". For "our safety". Or "privacy". Pick one or all.

      Quebec transparent governing at it's best. The nanny state knows best. Keep the details private so as not to upset the ruling class.

      PKP and Drainville will deal with the confidential report and recommendations in the same way they dealt with Bill 61.

      They will lie about what they are told. They will cherry pick from the secret report to satisfy their own needs, claim the rest was unnecessary and it's not our right to know.

      It feels really good to know back room deals don;t happen in the new Couillard Liberal Quebec.

      Otherwise one might get suspicious about the Quebec 1% political and economic suppressing and hiding reports about conflicts of interest or other problem that distort our democracy further.

      PKP won;t stay long. He's decided he needs to wait a few months to make it look acceptable.

      He will manufacture some situation and then quit and claim moral outrage. He's not going to resign and say it's just not any fun to build consensus vs buy your way forward.

      He needs a way out, saving as much face as possible.

  15. Paul Arcand puts Drainville's feet to the fire.

  16. Just in....CTV just confirmed that Henri Brun stated Drainville never sought his legal opinion regarding legality of the charter. SLAM!

    Oh yeah...braindrain needs to go NOW.