Friday, December 16, 2016

French versus English Volume 110

Honeymoon over for new PQ leader

Perhaps that headline is not exactly right, because for newly elected PQ leader Jean-François Lisée, there was no honeymoon at all.
New leaders usually get a novelty bump, but not so in this case.
Six weeks after taking over the leadership, Lisée and the PQ have seen support drop from 30% to 24%, a rather precipitous decline.
As for his personal brand, just 16% of Quebecers see him as a good premier.
The dastardly Liberals, the party of "who else is there" remains steady at 36% and would likely form another majority government, this despite having a 56% dissatisfaction rating by Quebecers.

As for sovereignty, a new poll suggest that 70% of Quebecers now reject the notion, a number I've never seen before and surely a historical low.

Open Table reservation site humiliates Quebec, itself and its users with 100 Best restaurant list

The restaurant reservation website issued its100 best restaurant list and all I can say is that either the diners are idiots or the list is a joke.
Either way, publishing this list is about as useful as asking vegetarians to rate their favourite steakhouse.
How utterly presumptuous to issue a list that is so clearly out of touch with reality.

Only five provinces were included with Ontario taking 45 places, British Columbia taking 25 places and Quebec a meager 11 places, which says more about where this website does business than about the restaurants themselves.
You think this website and its users are a savvy lot?
Well in its report on the 10 best places to eat in Montreal as chosen by users "THE KEG" came in second place with a whopping 4½ stars,  I'M NOT KIDDING!!

I would have to classify this news story as "fake news" designed to attract readers to the website.
It is an embarrassment.

PQ leadership loser contemplates taking over Bloc Quebec while retaining her seat in Quebec legislature

 My favourite PQ politician is Martine Ouellet who I've teased in the past over her incredible gaff in a Radio-Canada interview where she displayed an utter lack of understanding between a loan and a loan guarantee, even though the incredulous interviewer tried her best to explain the difference.
Watch the interview HERE for a good laugh.

She has run unsuccessfully for the PQ leadership twice and now is contemplating the Bloc Quebecois leadership, where she'll probably have better luck since absolutely nobody wants the top job.

All of this is not news in of itself, but what is interesting is that she says that if she does get the job, she won't quit her day job, that is a sitting PQ member in the Quebec legislature.
In a French language radio interview she stated that the two jobs are not mutually incompatible and that she'll have plenty of time to do both.
Since opposition MPs generally do nothing, she's probably right!

Petition requesting English or pictograms on Quebec road signs

Here's an email I received from Harold Stavis about a petition requesting  bilingual or pictograms on Quebec road signs;
"As we all know, all traffic signs on Quebec highways are solely in French. When driving, do you know what «Respectez les feux de voies», «Risque d’aquaplanage», «Dégel», «Ralentir», «Allumez vos phares», «Voie cahoteuse» and «Incident voie droite bloquée» mean? Are you aware that according to the Charter of the French Language (“Charter”), the French inscription on traffic signs may be complemented or replaced by symbols or pictographs, and another language may be used where no symbol or pictograph exists? Seeing that the aforementioned phrases have to deal with one’s safety, why are they not in English as well, as the Charter clearly provides?  It absolutely makes no sense whatsoever that the protection of the French Language is more important than one’s safety. Shouldn’t the safety of everyone, whether French speaking or English speaking, be of prime importance? That is precisely why we have presented a petition to the National Assembly through our MNA David Birnbaum."
Please sign the petition at and make sure you share it with your friends, family and acquaintances. Numbers do speak volumes…
 The French version  of the Huffington Post did a story on the petition and took a non scientific poll of readers indicating that 74% of readers were against the idea. Link{fr}

A visit to the comments section under the story demonstrated that most commenters were also quite opposed to the idea.
My favourite comment.....
"I propose a petition demanding that they learn French!"

Now I applaud the petition effort, but sadly, it came at the same time that the Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF)  forced a hospital in the Gaspé to remove bilingual signs in favour of all-French signs, this despite the fact that the English lettering is smaller than the French.
The Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de la Gaspésie (CISSSG) has historically and continues to serve a small English community, but since that community is about 15% of the population served by the hospital, the OQLF has come down hard on the hospital.

Progress in Quebec!!

Monreal's sub-par Xmas tree reverberates around the world

Almost 2 million viewers got to watch ABC's Today show which bashed Montreal's Christmas tree rather painfully

Montreal's scrawny, lopsided Christmas tree is just like Charlie Brown's

The Huffington Post couldn't resist either. Link

$15 minimum wage would be catastrophic to Quebec boonies...NOT

I'm actually in favour of the $15 minimum wage, it seems fair to pay a living wage to workers and complaints by companies, (mostly retailers and fast food) against such a pay raise fall on my deaf ear.

Now according to Stats Can only about 7% of workers make minimum wage, but 45% of these minimum wage jobs occur in retail and fast food.
Those making minimum wage are heavily weighted on women and the young.

So an increase in the minimum wage might mean that a 'Happy Meal' would cost a buck more in McDonalds and that Wal-Mart might make a billion less.  Seems a fair trade-off.
Today a full-time minimum wage worker makes about $22,000 a year and for a single parent with one child, it means working and living in poverty, not abject poverty, but poverty just the same.
A $15 minimum wage would bring the income up to about $31,000, which is by the way, the poverty line for that category.

According to the Journal de Montreal a $15 minimum wage would wipe out 160,000 jobs in Quebec, mostly in the boonies. Link{fr}
This nugget of information was pulled  from a study created by the Institut économique de Montréal.
I wonder how many people who read the Journal de Montreal story went to the source material.
I did?
Now the source IEDM  quotes is a story in Le Devoir that references a possible 160,000 job loss as a result of the higher minimum wage, but the comments section of that article takes umbrage with the assumptions, conclusions and methodology. It was a very good read.

At ant rate, the IEDM study that the Journal de Montreal referenced for the story also states that some economists believe that the job loss would be in the 20,000 area, but that fact doesn't fit in with the alarmist story and so is conveniently s left out.

I still think that working towards a higher minimum wage would have the benefit of reducing workers temptation to remain idle and on welfare or unemployment insurance.
While products like fast food might cost more, workers would have more money to spend.
It's a complicated subject, but underpaying workers because it is economically necessary makes the same sense as reducing safety or environmental standards because it makes businesses uncompetitive.

I will remind readers that car companies fought tooth and nail against seat belts and airbags based on the notion that the higher prices for cars would destroy the market....
As I said...deaf ears.

Conservative leadership race debate en français: Ouch!!!!

It was an unpleasant and painful experience to suffer through the "bilingual" Conservative party debate in Moncton, where even the moderator's French was painfully inadequate.

While the candidates looked utterly helpless and comical, nothing beats Kellie Leitch's French, like fingernails scratching a blackboard.


et cetera...

You've probably seen this video of Carey Price pummeling a hapless New Jersey Devil over a perceived unfair hit.
But the real treat is the subtitles provided by YouTube.  Link
Turn the subtitle icon [cc] in the bottom right hand corner below the video before running the video .
"CHRIST TAKES EXCEPTION!"    Have a good laugh...

CTV Montreal would have us believe that thinking about committing a crime is a crime itself!


  1. Replies
    1. it sure is. let's hope the racist freaks don't return.

  2. Philip writes: "As for sovereignty, a new poll suggest that 70% of Quebecers now reject the notion, a number I've never seen before and surely a historical low."

    30% support sovereignty? As I argued countless times on this blog's previous incarnation, that is incredibly high. 30% of Quebecers translates into about 38% of francophones because virtually 100% of non-francophones are against the idea...and 80% of the population is francophone.

    38% is a huge number when you consider that we are currently in a period of very low "agitation". That is, a non-humiliation period for the Glorious Nation of Quebec. All it will take is an economic downturn coupled with a perceived humiliation -- all ground up and fed to the masses by the separatist media (i.e., ALL of the francophone media), and that number will go as high as 65% of francophones (which translates into over 50% of all Quebecers).

    This is NOT a reason to celebrate if, unlike me, you want Quebec to stay in Canada.

    1. don't trust crop mate. leger is better. here's an unbiased analysis of the contradiction: . and here is better data:

      if crop data was right, lpq wounldn't have bitten the dust in the last by elections. but they did, that's why it's safer to rely on leger. so latest numbers are 36% support for quebec's independance, with 42% of francophones up for it. i agree with you that you don't need much turmoil for this number to increase quickly. it's also interesting to see that support for independance is strongest amongst the 35-44 age group: mature and productive fathers and mothers. this means well over 50% of francophones in this age group would vote yes. the project is alive and well.

    2. It's easy to turn the 30% into 50%, then down to 40%, then back down to 30%. All you need is to get the msm to report on some insult (real or fake) towards Qc from the rest of Canada, run the "story" every day for a week, have some "expert" come out and share their opinions, engineer a few rallies, etc... Old methods, tried and tested. People's opinions are so easy to manipulate, and so are the polls themselves. Look at all these pro-Clinton polls before the November 8th election, all faked by the msm to demoralize Trump's support base.

      What's more interesting about Qc polls is that the elites never ever manipulate these opinions to reach some overwhelming majority, even though they could do it easily if they wanted to. Between a theory that Quebec separatism was engineered to break up Canada in order for the pieces to be swept up into some North American superstate (following on the footsteps of NAFTA) vs a theory that Qc separatism was engineered to weaken Canada by constantly keeping it on the brink of disintegration without it ever happening, the second theory seems to be proving correct looking back at the last 50 years.

    3. "38% is a huge number when you consider that we are currently in a period of very low "agitation"."

      Isn't it interesting that when they finally ramp up the "agitation" and pro-separation numbers start reaching 50%, there comes a "cooling" phase? So the "experts" whipping up resentment towards Canada are gradually pulled back while the "experts" saying that Canada is not so bad are gradually pulled in? And the "discussion" is always moderated by some "impartial" tv host who invites these "experts".

      If they wanted to, they could easily push pro-separation numbers to 60%, 70%, even 80%. All that's needed is the will on the part of the elites. Spend a few months whipping up resentments and then run a poll which will reflect a true opinion given to the pollsters by angry people, or just rig the poll, or both (since polls influence people, say that 70% are now pro, and you will get that 70% through predictive programming alone). So easy to do, and done all the time in the west, yet here they don't want to do it.

      Alternatively, they could also throttle the separatist sentiment down to 10% if they wanted to. Easily. Run some feel good stories about Canada for a few months, withdraw pro separatist agitators from public view (freedom of speech exists only because it's utterly useless if you have no visibility in the media), fake some polls. But they don't want it at 10% either. Interesting.

    4. adski,

      Who is they in your post above?

  3. Regarding the minimum wage: if governments want workers to earn a minimum wage, let the government make up the difference.

    Let employers and prospective employees negotiate an hourly wage between two consulting adults with NO minimum wage law dictating how they as free individuals decide is a fair wage...and if the government doesn't feel it is enough, they can pay the workers the extra money.

    1. It seems that if you argue for no minimum wage, a situation where workers are consigned to negotiate with employers over salary with no minimum, it follows that you'll argue that workers should negotiate health and safety standards directly with the employer and if the employer puts the safety of workers at risk, it okay as long as the workers agree. Hmmm.....

    2. "Let employers and prospective employees negotiate an hourly wage between two consulting adults"

      This assumes a parity of power between an employee and employer, like two equal parties negotiating with each other. In reality, one has all the power, the other has none. The power of the employer rests with the fact that even for a highly qualified professional candidate, say in IT and engineering, there's someone in India ready to work for 1/5th of the North American salary. So according to this libertarian logic, the employee here, to make himself "competitive", has to compete on Third World standards.

      The big reason behind Trump's victory is not electoral fraud (which benefited Clinton more than Trump in big cities letting her "win" the popular vote), nor Russia hacking the DNC, it's that Trump had the guts to march up to some CEOs and tell them point blank: you move your factory to Central America, I'll slap a 30% tariff on any product you try to bring back to the US and sell it here and that will be it. Leaving all to the "market" is not always an option. Sometimes you have to slap those controlling the market so normal people can take a breather.

  4. Holy fuck the blog is back. Woo-hoo...!!! So good to see you again, Philip et al. Christmas does come early this year.

  5. Great to see your blog back online! Looking forward to reading your new entries and of course the comments from the Peanut Gallery!

  6. Oh and BTW Philip, Today is on NBC, not ABC.

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