Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Oh Quebec!.....Say It Ain't So..

I'm no longer writing my French versus English posts but will periodically bring you the bizarre, lighthearted, stupid, inane and downright perplexing stories that make living in Quebec so much fun.
I'm not particularly bashing francophones or Quebec, Anglos in other provinces are just as wasteful and stupid, governed by idiot politicians and clueless civil servants.
But Quebec is my home and that's what this blog is about.
Let's start with a doozy....

World's most moronic fine

I guess the police have too much time on their hands in a tiny town near Quebec City, so police are trolling for obscure infractions to fill their time and perhaps their quota of tickets.
Here's a $107 ticket issued by the Sureté du Quebec, the provincial police.
The infraction?
Not having a little plastic stem covering the valve on a tire.
I'll bet dollars to doughnuts not one in a thousand of you thought that this is a thing.
Now I actually checked as to why the valve stem cap is so important and it comes down to car maintenance and nothing to do with road safety. It's like the cops giving you a ticket for not changing your oil. ...sigh.
$107 bucks...Sheesh!

PQ leader sets bar low, fails anyways...

There's a certain sadness learning that Bloc Quebecois leader Martine Ouellet has resigned in the face of a confidence vote that saw the sad-sack separatist get just 32% of the party members' vote in favour of her leadership.
Caption: "As soon as she's finished her speech, light the fire!"

These type of leadership confidence votes usually happen after an election loss and where leaders usually resign should they not achieve at least 70% support.
Bernard Landry of the PQ  resigned after getting close to 75% of the vote and Thomas Mulcair left after 52% of the NDP members voted for a leadership review.

Ouellet set the bar low, telling all that if she garnered 50%+1 (the infamous separatist referendum threshold) she'd stay on.
Alas, it was not to be and in a long blistering farewell speech, she called out the media and settled accounts with her 'betrayers' in the party, thus inspiring the above cartoon drawn by famed Quebec caricaturist Chapleau.
At any rate, Ouellet returned to Quebec's National Assembly to run out her term as an independent MNA, where she promptly announced that she might deny the unanimous consent required to transform the moribund La Presse newspaper into a non-profit.

Now everyone in the media is discussing the schism between Ouellet and her ex-caucus members who supposedly quit over the principle of whether the role of the Bloc is primarily to promote sovereignty or to defend Quebec rights in Ottawa.
All this is a smokescreen because the real reason that the BQ caucus bolted was because Ouellet is actually bat-shit crazy, a complete shrew who created a toxic work environment. This is widely confirmed by those who worked for her before in the PQ.
Think I'm exaggerating?
The current leader of the PQ, Jean-François Lisée breathed a huge sigh of relief at her defeat and when asked if she'd would be welcome to run for the PQ in the upcoming provincial election, skilfully dodged the question, leaving his position eminently clear.
Bye-bye Martine and don't let the door hit you in the ass..

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 if you haven't seen it.

Hydro-Quebec pisses away billions on alternative energy

No surprise that a new report claims that Hydro-Quebec has blown $2.5 billion on alternative energy like wind farms and co-generation over the past few years and will blow another  $10 billion over the next several years. The government with its sound management policy forced Hydro-Quebec to enter into contracts with alternative energy sources that cost at least 9 cents a kilowatt hour to produce while being forced to mothball its own hydro-electric plants because of poor demand. These mothballed plants produce energy at 3 cents a kilowatt hour so it makes eminent sense to our politicians  to buy overpriced energy that is 'green,' 
This is what happens when politicians mix politics with business.
Have politicians learned their lesson? What do you think?
Premier Couillard is pushing a brand new wind farm in Port-Cartier that will produce electricity at 11½ cents, which will then be resold to consumers for 7 cents with a predicted loss of another $1.5 billion over the next few years.

Quebec bar Association Claims all Quebec laws illegal

"The controversy arose from a lawsuit filed in April by the provincial and Montreal bar associations. The aim of the lawsuit is to eliminate confusion arising from differences between the French and English versions of Quebec legal texts, which have equal weight.
The two professional associations have asked Quebec Superior Court to invalidate the province’s existing laws and regulations unless the National Assembly complies with a constitutional requirement that the two versions be identical.
This provoked an uproar among the associations’ members and in the media. A request signed by 118 of the Quebec bar’s nearly 27,000 lawyers forced the association to hold a special meeting on resolutions opposing the lawsuit. The meeting, held last week in Montreal, was attended by about 740 members.
Before the meeting, the dissenters had complained that the midweek meeting would be unrepresentative, since it would be difficult for members from across the province to attend. They abruptly dropped that complaint, however, when the meeting went in their favour.
The resolution to withdraw the lawsuit is not binding on the association, and it passed by only 37 votes, for a narrow majority of 52.5 per cent of voting members, or one per cent of the whole membership.
Still, that amounts to nearly 400 Quebec lawyers voting in favour of ignoring the Constitution, the fundamental law of the land." Read More in the Montreal Gazette

Quebec teachers pressured to inflate test results

"If your school-aged child barely gets a passing grade this year, chances are, he or she may have actually failed the year. Yesterday, the education minister admitted during question period that indeed, if you get a 57, 58 or 59 on a provincial exam, a piece of software automatically rounds the mark up to 60.
The PQ's education critic, Alexandre Cloutier, grilled Sebastien Proulx on the subject yesterday, and eventually forced the ministry's staff to inform Proulx that indeed, 57s, 58s, and 59s were turned into passing grades.
And reports are also suggesting borderline fails on final report cards sometimes also get changed to minimal passes — without the teacher's consent." Read more

Complaints about French at Montreal Grand Prix

At a press conference during Montreal's Formula 1 race a reporter asked driver Lance Stroll a question in French, only to be shot down by organizers.
Before Stroll could answer, the organizer stopped the response and asked the reporter to repeat the question in English because all news conferences in relation to F1 are by policy to be conducted in English only.
The reporter was, of course, indignant that in Montreal, questions had to be asked in English, when the driver spoke French. All this is more of the same, not particularly newsworthy, but this next bit offered by the reporter definitely raised my eyebrows.
"We are in Montreal, a French-speaking city, and I put my question to a francophone driver, so the question is in French," said the representative of the Journal. Link
 Lance Stroll a francophone??????

Lance may speak a passable anglophone French, but a francophone he is not.
This same excess happened when Eugenie Bouchard popped onto the scene and was claimed by the Quebec media as a francophone because she spoke French. The media went so far as to add an accent to her name "Eugénie" before realizing that although she had a French father, she was brought up as an English Montrealer with very good French.
Off the subject, I'll remind readers that in a press conference in Paris at the French Open, a French reporter remarked that he much preferred Eugenie's anglophone accent to that of the native Quebecois. Ha! Ha!

No Sympathy for disgraced Liberal MP

You might remember the story of ex-Liberal MP Gerry Sklavounos who was accused of rape by a woman who had sex with him in his hotel room on more than one occasion. The police investigated and concluded that the rape part of the allegation never happened but for the married politician, the jig was up and he was excluded from the Liberal caucus.   Some of us felt that he was unfairly treated because no crime occurred, other than cheating on his wife and family.
I was somewhat ambivalent about the story, he made his own mess and suffered the consequences, even if he didn't break the law.
But now a story has cast a new light on why the Liberals were so quick to usher him out of caucus.
The story is about a fifteen-year-old who was hit upon by Sklavounos and the story is completely credible.
The girl never complained to officials, wishing to put the incident behind her and it only came out in the investigation the Liberals held in relation to the rape allegation.
The victim told reporters; 
I don't need the weight of a court process now in my life. I have other things  to manage and I need to focus on the positive. I do not want to go there. - Maude-Félixe Gagnon
Not the words of a false accuser, that's for sure.

If you had any sympathy for Gerry Sklavounos, keep reading..

Here's a partial translation of a La Presse  article written by Tommy Chouinard and if you read French, please do him the courtesy of reading the original article HERE
"Maude-Félixe Gagnon became known in the political world in 2013, at the age of 13 years. She announced on social networks her change of allegiance, from the Parti Quebecois to the Liberal Party of Quebec. She said she was disappointed by decisions of the Marois government...
By the end of April 2015, Maude-Félix Gagnon went with a friend to the National Assembly, as she occasionally did, to attend Question Period. She reportedly met Gerry Sklavounos in the lobby of the Parliament Building near the cafeteria. She had already spoken to him at partisan events, starting in 2013. "He said," It would be nice if you came to see the office of the deputy [government] leader."
She went to the MP's office late in the afternoon, alone. Her friend had "gone to take the train back to Montreal," she says. A journalist confirmed this fact, adding that Maude-Félixe Gagnon had told her about her misadventure with the member.In his office at the end of April 2015, the member invited Maude-Félixe Gagnon, a fourth-year high school student, to dinner. "I told him," It would be fun but that I had to ask my mother before. "
The remark did not cool his ardour, she said. He suggested that
after dinner, she go  to his apartment located above the restaurant Louis-Hébert on Grande Allée. "We could play chess in my room," he said. She told him in splendid naivety that she did not know how to play chess.
"He's a handsome gentleman, he's imposing, he has a sense, but I was far from thinking about that," she says. Then the member "put his hand on my thigh." "It was unwanted physical contact," she says. "He asked  personal, very personal questions about my emotional life, about my experiences, about what I had previously experienced, perhaps, with boys," she alleges. "He ended up asking me," Have you ever slept with anyone? "
He  then approached me, I froze and he kissed me on the mouth. "It was unwanted. ..."....She have finally returned home. "I pretended that nothing had happened. "

NHL to Quebec city: No soup for you!

Much to the chagrin of local Quebec city hockey fans, it doesn't look like Quebec city will get an NHL team in the foreseeable future.
According to comments made by Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, there simply isn't a market for an NHL team in Quebec City.
“Quebec is challenged, I’ll put it nicely,” Jacobs said as per The Athletic. “Look at the income base and the population base and there probably isn’t a smaller market, so they’re really going to have to distinguish themselves in some other way. You look at Houston, and it’s the fifth-largest market in North America versus the 105th(market), let’s say. They have a different situation there. Economically they’re challenged and numerically they’re challenged. They just don’t have the numbers. We have enthusiastic fans there – there’s no doubt about that.”   Link
Not helping the situation is the fact that the pre-season game held last year between the Habs and the Bruins in the new Centre Videotron attracted only about 9,000 fans, less than half of capacity.

In fact, the Centre Videotron is becoming quite the white elephant, losing millions because of the lack of activity.
The arena is having trouble attracting fans and concerts by The Weeknd and the Red Hot Chili were cancelled due to poor ticket sales.
How bad is it?
There are just two events scheduled in June, none in July and four in August. The arena is losing money on operations, that is to say, the operators were given a free $400 million taxpayer paid built arena and still cannot make money operating it.

CAQ proposes "Values" test for immigrants

"Choose your Quebec"
"The party leading the race to form Quebec’s next government is doubling down on a controversial policy that would test immigrants for Quebec values before allowing them to stay in the province permanently.
The Coalition Avenir Québec also now says it would rely on Ottawa’s co-operation to expel or relocate undesirable immigrants to ensure compliance with the policy. However, the federal government seems unlikely to support the plan....
...Immigrants would have to pass the values, language and employment test within four years to receive a Quebec selection certificate – a document that is the first step to gaining permanent residence in the province under the immigration program it shares with Ottawa. Those who flunk would be handed off to Ottawa for relocation or expulsion under the CAQ proposal." Read the rest of the story
So what would this values test look like?
I turned to Vigile.dreck for some guidance from its resident enthno-centric hater Raymond Labrie who has some clever ideas.
1- In Quebec, the laws of the country take precedence over the precepts of religions. What do you think of this statement?
2- In Quebec, parents do not choose the spouse of their minor daughter several years in advance (arranged marriages). Are you OK with that?
3- In Quebec, there is equality between men and women. The veil is generally perceived as a desire to inferiorize women. Are you ready to adopt the Quebec vision and give up wearing the veil?
4- Sharia court is considered bad in Quebec. Are you ready to fight its implementation and its application?
5- Abuse of children and one's spouse is condemned in Quebec.
6- If your child wants to marry someone of another religion or ethnicity, do you have the authority to oppose it and do anything to stop it?
7- Do immigrants have to adapt to our customs and ways of doing things, or must they force us to adapt to their own ways through requests for accommodation and legal recourse?
8- In Quebec, there is freedom of expression. Everyone can challenge or oppose an ideology, a religion, an idea, a political party, to elected officials. Do you agree with this statement?
9- In Quebec, a child can freely choose his future job. What do you think?
10- In Quebec, there is equality between men and women.
a) Can a wife stand up to her husband and not obey him?
b) Can she make her own choices, make her own decisions?
c) Can she keep the money she earns and make the use she wants?
11- Does the husband know better than the woman what is good for her?
12- In Quebec, there is democracy. Can someone dictate to his relatives whom to vote for?
13- In Quebec, homosexuals are accepted. Is it good or bad?
14- At the hospital, can a woman be examined by a male doctor without the presence of her husband?
15- In the hospital, can a man refuse to be treated by a female doctor?
16- In Quebec, we advocate the religious neutrality of the employees of the state. Is that good or bad?
17- In Quebec, there is the principle of secularism, the separation of state and religion. Is this a good thing?
18- Is it an acceptable practice for a woman to walk behind her husband on the sidewalk?
19- Can a woman refuse to have another child?
20- Can a woman use contraception without her husband's knowledge?
21- Quebecers love to eat the tasty pork produced in Quebec and which is sought throughout the world for its quality. Would it be better to dissuade us from eating it?
22- Dogs are greatly appreciated as pets. They are considered man's best friend.  Is it a good thing that you approve wholeheartedly?
23- Are you open to changing those practices that hurt us and are poorly viewed in Quebec in order to prove your desire for integration?
24- Quebeckers have a system of values ​​that they favour. Are you ready to adopt as many as you can?
25- Are you ready to condemn and fight animal cruelty like halal, kosher or others?  Link{fr}

No racism here....

In another story of no-racism in Quebec...
"Members of the Maghrebian (North African Muslims) community are less than twice as likely to be interviewed for a job in Quebec, according to the first study of its kind in the region.

Quebeckers of Maghrebian origin who are looking for work in the Quebec City region must send twice as many résumés to get a job as native Quebecers 'du souche," according to a study done by a doctoral student in sociology at the University Laval, Jean-Philippe Beauregard....

..."Equally competent, they are ignored. They do not have the same chance to present themselves in an interview, "says Beauregard. Link[{fr}
Quelle surprise!

Oh well....

Karma's a bitch!  Link

Montreal police crash retro-theme car.

In honour of Montreal F1 race, Ferrari puts out a tribute to our fair city..... Sheesh???

It seems that Quebec laws have been amended to hit offending cyclists with demerit points as well as a fine for riding contraventions, like stop signs and red lights.
This women in Sorel received 3 demerit points as well as a $48 ticket for not stopping at a stop sign.

So here's the thing that cyclists should remember.
It isn't required by law to carry a driver's license when riding your bike.

So be smart LEAVE YOUR DRIVING LICENSE AT HOME while bike riding and keep another form of identification on you.
Actually, you need no ID to ride your bike but must provide your name and address to police upon being stopped.
While police can track down your license with the information provided, they are probably too lazy to go through the work.
You've been warned!!

Hilarious and sarcastic commentary by furious motorist as cyclists ignore bike path.  
Where's that cop who gave out the ticket for the tire cap when you need him?

Further reading...

Quebec's biggest rental scofflaw strikes again. Twenty years of not paying rent.  IN FRENCH 

Government agency spends $100,000 on a conference room table and chairs. Boss tells reporters that it's a solid table. IN FRENCH 

Corruption cops complain Quebec justice slow to prosecute Liberal party fundraisers IN FRENCH 

Nothing to do with Quebec, but I couldn't resist....


  1. NHL to Quebec city: No soup for you! Because it wasn't in the desert. (That's why Vegas has a team.) Remember that Gary Bettman is the big boss of the NHL, and the only thing he likes about Canada is soaking it.

  2. Mr. Sauga here: Quebec small market; Houston and Seattle big. Actually it's Seattle that should get a team to balance out the geographic map between the Eastern and Western Conferences. Too, there is no team in the NW U.S. One team is needed in the Western region to place 16 teams in each conference.

    Mel, I knew when Bettman was put in charge, the game would be changed for American consumption and Cups going north of the US border is not good for business. Remember how the Expos were killed?

  3. Mr. Sauga here. On another subject, passing students at the borderline is absolutely nothing new. My stepdaughter, when she was going through the school system at the turn of the millennium, was in need of a teaching assistant, but of course didn't get one, in all likelihood because she went to an English school and as we all know, English instructional education in Quebec is now more of a courtesy than a right.

    Despite her struggles that snowballed from grade to grade, she was merely pencil whipped through the system, finally to the point that in her first year of high school she had to be relegated to a remedial stream. Even by then she was having major troubles. My stepson had AD/HD, was expelled from that same school, but not before telling his mother he should be given more Ritalin. Mom called her kid's pediatrician to verify, and he said absolutely not. Overmedicating the boy would have solved the school's problem, not HIS problem. That particular elementary school showed complete indifference to the care of the children.

    Many years ago, older readers may recall there was a TV program called Good Times starring Esther Rolle, John Amos and Jimmie Walker, about life for black people living in a Chicago ghetto. JJ, played by Walker, constantly was getting into schemes trying to make money to get out of the ghetto. One thing we learned about the character was he was an art whiz, but bad in English, yet he was being passed as opposed to put into a remedial stream or failed.

    This piqued the curiosity of his mother, and she went to visit his school principal. The principal explained that funding is so anemic they couldn't afford to hold back kids who needed greater attention, so they were pencil whipped through the system whether they were capable or not. This episode of the show brought the real problem to life. I just think Quebec schools are following that model, and so are many other jurisdictions. Small wonder North America has a dire shortage of skilled workers and professionals, and with automation now over from the horizon, this problem will worsen and shows no signs of getting better until there is an investment in our youth to genuinely learn.

    The way I see it, this indifference in our education system will lead to a point only the best of the best will have jobs and the rest will fight in ghettos for the few scraps available. I rarely take Quebec's side on things, but this is a big problem far beyond Quebec's borders.