Thursday, September 15, 2022

British Royal Family an Unbelievable Bargain

The news of the passing of Queen Elizabeth will no doubt raise the drumbeats once again that it is time to dump the monarchy.

There are those of us who scoff at the idea of Kings or Queens and a royal family who 'reign' over us. They hold it to be an anachronistic and medieval institution that today is irrelevant, an institution that should be discarded and consigned to the ash heap of history.
Not only do they decry the concept of royalty but howl at the expense borne by the public purse, viewed as an obscene waste of precious public resources.

We are all entitled to our opinion and although I have no special bond or sentiment towards the royal family, my analytical bent causes me to take an opposite view because quite simply the British royal family is an unbelievable bargain, an asset providing tremendous value for what is spent.
Yes... the Royal family is an unbelievable bargain.

First and foremost the Queen or King provides a valuable symbol of statehood, an innocent unifying and inclusive force, representing all the inhabitants of the Commonwealth.
If you think that this is unnecessary and stupid, look to the USA which doesn't have a monarch and generally looks down on countries that do.
But the USA raises the President and his attending First lady to defacto royal status, a dangerous concept that throws back to a time when the King or Queen actually ruled with absolute power.
Many countries that don't have a royal head of state choose to place a ceremonial 'President' over the defacto ruler, an acknowledgement that elected officials make poor heads of state.

When an elected official such as the President of the USA acts as head of state, it presents a unique problem in that a sizable constituency feel unconnected and unrepresented.
It has become a tradition that championship sports teams be invited to the White House for a celebratory meeting with the President, a visit that some members of the team refuse to participate in because of their political alienation from the president.
The Queen represents all citizens of all political persuasions without distinction and as head of state is better able to perform ceremonial functions that unite us all.

More importantly, having an innocent and harmless sovereign as head of state allows us to judge our politicians with a more critical eye, without the trappings of the head of state.
Boris Johnson and his fall from grace was facilitated by having a Queen stationed 'above' him.
While we respect and revere our monarch who today does nothing more than tirelessly cheer on the nation, we remain free to judge our politicians on their personal comportment and public performance without the trappings of any reverence for the office.

Seventy years of dedicated Service

While almost everyone in Canada knows who the Queen, her children and grandchildren are by name, I daresay precious few can name our Prime Minister's children, a situation which I find admirable and healthy.

As for the cost, I fear that those citing the expense as exorbitant are dealing from a weak hand.
The British monarchy is an economic juggernaut generating almost a billion pounds in tourism while costing the British taxpayer less than a third of that.

Then there is the all-important pleasure dividend wherein millions of subjects and indeed tens of millions of foreigners enjoy the pageantry and trappings of a royal family.

While not particularly smitten with the Royals, I will never forget my visit to Buckingham palace, one of the greatest attractions I've ever visited.

Now haters are going to going to say that we should boycott such visits based on the fact that the palace and Royal legacy were built on the backs of the poor.
Such can be said of the Colosseum in Rome, the Egyptian Pyramids, Beijing's Forbidden City, St Paul's and Notre-Dame Cathedral as well as the Palace of Versailles, to name a few.
Should we boycott all those as well?

I don't know why, but many of us, particularly females are fascinated and drawn to the Royal family.
It is our nature and part of our human condition. It does not need explaining or denigration. 
We are what we are.
Many little girls still daydream of marrying a Prince Charming and fantasize about their own royal wedding.
In fact, royal weddings are perhaps the number one television attraction in the world, all provided gratis to the general public.

Now while you may think those people fascinated by the royal family are lame and perhaps stupid, it is important to understand that these millions of people are entitled to their own beliefs and entertainment, just as some of us (many fewer) enjoy museums or classical orchestras, all subsidized by the government.

Queen Elizabeth has undertaken over 21,000 royal engagements over her reign, a remarkable achievement by any yardstick.
In the real world, a royal visit to a hospital, a disaster scene or an important occasion or milestone is gratifying to those on the receiving end.
Royalist or not, who doesn't treasure a birthday greeting from the Queen or a letter of commendation or a sympathetic visit in hard times..
A visit to a school, daycare, or hospital reminds those who toil there that their work is important and appreciated on a national level.
A royal visit is a gesture made by the Queen on behalf of the entire country, and what can be more gratifying.

As for the popularity of the royal family, you can safely ignore those polls that show that getting rid of the Royal family is popular.
Few are willing to reveal their guilty pleasure to pollsters, just like few will admit to watching the Kardashians or The Bachelor.
Here in Quebec the Royals are seen as wildly unpopular but when Prince William and Kate visited Quebec City a few years back, the streets were packed with gawkers, onlookers and yes, royal aficionados, belying the fact that they are loathed or disliked.

Those who decry the monarchy are selfish snobs, failing to accept that the royals bring enormous pleasure to millions of citizens.
There is no economic, social or political benefit to be had in dumping the institution and those who propose to do so fail to accept the benefits which are real and tangible.

Speaking to her popularity, how many billions will watch the Royal funeral of Queen Elizabeth on Monday, a monarch who worked tirelessly for seventy years to bring a little sunshine into the lives of all her subjects.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Quebec Language Insanity... Volume 002

Judge suspends 2 articles of Bill 96

"Quebec's new language law suffered a first defeat on Friday, as a judge temporarily suspended a provision requiring English court documents to be translated into French.

Sections of Bill 96 that require corporations to pay a certified translator to produce French versions of legal documents could prevent some English-speaking organizations from accessing justice, Quebec Superior Court Justice Chantal Corriveau ruled.

Earlier this week, lawyers for Quebec's judicial council -- Conseil de la magistrature du Quebec -- and for three senior provincial court judges, including Chief Judge Lucie Rondeau, filed a suit to strike down parts of the law allowing the justice minister to decide which judicial postings require knowledge of English. Those sections of Bill 96 violate the 1867 Constitution Act, the lawyers said."   Read the whole article

Qc's Chief Justice defends her turf

If the law is found to violate the BNA act, then the notwithstanding clause cannot be invoked.
But the government knew in advance that this would be challenged and likely be tossed.
Simon Jolie Barette the CAQ justice minister is channelling Dr. Camille Laurin, who also deliberately included dubious clauses in Bill 101, clauses that he knew would be rejected upon court challenge, 
The idea was that the rejection by the court would enrage and inflame Quebecers and thus fan the flames of sovereignty.

In the meantime Quebec's chief judge is taking aim at the law, declaring that some clauses are clearly unconstitutional and thus invalid.
This is round 2 of the battle between her and the justice minister who failed to appeal a decision in which he challenged the independence of the judiciary.
In that first round, the judge ruled that the justice minister cannot set criteria pertaining to the selection of judges, which invalided the current requirement that judges be bilingual.

Le Journal de Montreal reported that the Chief Justice of the Court of Quebec, Lucie Rondeau, brought a civil suit against Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette to have a measure annulled which prohibits the quasi-systematic requirement of bilingualism in the appointment of new magistrates.

Judge Lucie Rondeau 2 Simon-Jolie-Barette 0

Martineau and his dumb comments

It is a little sad to see a mainstream journalist hack stoop to quoting unedited, unfiltered and cherry-picked comments from the Twittersphere to make his point that Canada hates Quebec with a passion.

That is the gist of an article that he penned using a selection of dumb Twitter quotes to support his argument.
The fact that Mr. Martineau's own account  @RiMartineau has been suspended from Twitter doesn't stop him from consulting the site regularly.
Last Tuesday, on his Twitter account, Jean Charest wrote that he hoped that the next debate on August 3 between the candidates for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada will be bilingual, because "bilingualism is the strength of Canada" and that " the two official languages must be defended equally”. Here's a quick rundown of the comments his tweet elicited.  Link{Fr}
  • No one gives a damn about bilingualism, except Quebeckers who believe their language is important for the rest of the country.” 
  •  I do not believe that the French language should be imposed by force on the Anglophone majority of Canada. 
  •  “Sorry, but most people have no interest in French. 
  •  Charest seems to forget that Quebec is a unilingual French-speaking province. We should stop imposing French in Canada and we would save billions. Long live Poilievre!” “
  •  By trying to appease Quebec with bilingualism, we weaken the presence of Western Canadians in essential positions in the country.”
  •  “The Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages ​​is a waste of public money. We should abolish it. 
  • Life in Quebec has become a horror because of language restrictions.
  •  With all the problems Canada is experiencing, the issue of bilingualism should be number 300 on the list of priorities for the next leader of the CCP.

Having been banned from Twitter, perhaps Mr. Martineau can channel Donald Trump and create his own version of Truth Social where he and others can freely slag Anglos, ethnics and Canadiens without fear of being called out or banned.

At any rate, in another dubious post on Facebook where he slagged a  group of stores for using a picture of a potential employee in a hijab, a reader offered a selection of equally nasty comments under his post.

  • What's the name of the stores, I'll boycott them” 
  •  Quebec- Allah's land.
  •  Just refuse to be served by an employee wearing a hijab.
  • While people focus on Covid, we are being brainwashed with ads featuring hijabs.”
  • Frightening!
  • Reno should be ashamed, undoubtedly bought by Islamofascists.
  • We've been double-crossed.

 So much for comments from the peanut gallery.

Quebec's biggest racist

You'll remember the radical sovereigntist website which got into trouble years back for several antisemitic stories which had mainstream nationalists and politicians abandoning support.

Now the website regularly publishes opinion pieces which promote sovereignty in a respectful, intelligent and coherent manner and I read many of the stories with interest.
Where the problems lie are in the section "Tribune Libre" where ordinary readers are given a platform to sound off without any editorial oversight, which sometimes leads to blatantly racist, Anglophobic, anti-native, anti-black and anti-immigrant pieces which are something to behold.

That a Canadian Quebec website would publish these racist diatribes is simply amazing and I challenge anyone to point me to a mainstream English website that treats francophones with such utter disdain and hatred.
I'm going to share some of these pieces, translating one juicy column per post. I'll start with Rejean Labrie who must be Quebec's biggest racist who in post after post outdoes himself with outpourings of racism and hate..
He is a jewel.
"The place of Anglo-Montrealers is elsewhere in Canada, not in Quebec
Réjean Labrie February 25, 2022
The place of Anglo-Montrealers is elsewhere in Canada, but no longer in Quebec.
It is up to the entire population to become aware of this and to ensure that a vast relocation plan to another province be initiated in the near future.
An Anglo who learns French is still an Anglo.
This is why there will always be too many Anglos in Quebec.
Even if he manages to cope with the pain and misery of French and makes himself understood when necessary, he continues to live exclusively in his Anglo world, in Anglo culture, in the Anglo media.
It's quite simple: in Montreal, to hear less English, we need fewer Anglos.
Anglophones know practically nothing about the people of Quebec, about current events in Quebec, about Quebec culture, which they do not consume or live. Anglos do not associate with  Quebecers.
Anglos has no  interest in the Quebec reality and our culture and will never develop any. This is why it is only a vain illusion that it is enough to francize the Anglos and then let them continue to live quietly in Quebec in their world apart.
This laissez-faire attitude means that they continue to increase in number, numbers that will only accelerate the influence of North American English culture in Quebec.
A second disadvantage of letting them increase in number is that it also increases the appeal of English among allophones who, too, don't care about the French language.
Remember that all allophones would like to become English-speaking Canadian citizens, not French-speaking Quebec citizens. It was their first choice, what attracted them here and it was what they expected when they came to Canada. Most of them even believe that they have been played a very bad trick by having been assigned to reside in Quebec. It is well known that all the allophones join forces with the anglophones to vote for the Liberal Party of Quebec, now deserted by the native French speakers, clearly positioning themselves against all the legitimate aspirations of the Quebec people, starting with the desire for a French Quebec or the idea of ​​becoming an independent country.

Neither of the two groups is on our side. We understand that it is not in the national interest to allow one or the other to expand on our territory.
There is no other solution to this problem than to ensure that the English speakers of Quebec decrease in number (as well as the allophones opting for English of course) and are relocated to another province of their choice. It would be desirable that they feel a certain pressure not to delay.
Bye, bye Anglos. Send us postcards, in French I hope."   LINK{FR}

Phony language statistics debunked

Everyone knows that statistics can be made to support just about any argument and when a statistician has a political agenda, all manner of bullshit can result.
Such nonsense is the case of go-to sovereigntist statistician Charles Castonguay who has been pedalling his contrived, massaged and misinterpreted statistics indicating French is in trouble in Quebec for years. As the author of  “Le français en chute libre” (French in Freefall),  he is the poster boy of mangled, twisted and misconstrued nonsense masquerading as facts. 

His statistical account of how French is in trouble along with other studies of the same ilk has finally been debunked by an ex-professor of UQAM Calvin Veltman who destroys the phony methodology and conclusion of these sovereigntist shills.
The dominating paradigm in Quebec is that French is on the way to extinction. This is what statistician Charles Castonguay stipulates in his essay “Le français en chute libre”. Even Premier François Legault has claimed that Quebec could become Louisiana if it does not obtain all the powers from Ottawa in matters of immigration. Multiple forecasting studies by demographer Marc Termote, notably this one, as well as those by René Houle and Jean-Pierre Corbeil also seem to reinforce this perspective. 
However, all these studies are based on methodological principles which, from a sociolinguistic point of view, are untenable. 
The division of multiple responses, such as the declaration of a mother tongue or a language of use such as Arabic and French, pro rata between the two groups, falsifies the figures, as does the refusal to recognize the presence and meaning of “regularly” spoken second languages among allophones. 
In this article, I demonstrate that 280,000 francized allophones are not taken into account in studies on the decline of French. As a sociologist and sociolinguist, I have published numerous studies on linguistic mobility in the United States, Quebec and Alsace. 
All the data thus suggests that the French/English ratio continues to evolve in favor of French, which remains at at least 73%. This this now brings the share of French in Quebec to 83.6% according to the sociolinguistic methodology, an increase of three points compared to the calculation proposed by Castonguay.
The announced "fall" of French isn't happening soon!

Read the detailed article in French  

According  to the study, conducted by the Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF) based on 2016 census data, people who use only English at work earn an average of $46,047 per year, or 20% of more than the average income of $38,346 for those who use only French. 
“It’s insulting and downright unacceptable to see that the person who uses only English in Quebec earns more than the person who uses only French”, indignant Jean-Paul Perreault, president of Impératif français, an organization defense and promotion of French. Link

Now let's add a little context.
Those who work in English only are almost all in jobs based in Montreal which boasts salaries higher than the rest of Quebec.
Secondly, companies or jobs that work only in English are usually in very high-paying industries, like high-tech, aviation, pharma, research, legal and engineering.
Not many English-only jobs exist in lower-paying echelons like the public service, factory, trades and the retail industry.
Consider that the very few English-only jobs are being compared to the massive amount of French-only jobs. It is statistically dishonest. 
Let us remember that anglos attend university at a 30-40% higher level than francophones, boosting their earning potential. So much for the outrage

Short stuff

Racist Francophone harangues family over English .

See the video here  

Encouraged by the current language hysteria, a racist goes off on a neighbour over lack of French.

"Go back to India or Pakistan!"
"You have no business here if you don't speak the language!"
"Go home to where you belong!"

To her credit a francophone neighbour tries to intervene and asks the fellow politely to leave.

Quebec language paranoia is good for Alberta…

Quebec anglophones, feeling forsaken by the Liberals, weigh their options

Julius Grey, the lawyer challenging Quebec’s French-language law, deplores its ‘massive abuse of civil rights

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Quebec Language Follies... Volume 001

I've decided to start this column because there's just too much bigotry, hate, nonsense obsession and hilarity concerning Quebec's pathological obsession with the French.
Most of us don't have the time, the language skills or for that matter the inclination to follow what is being said in the French media which has embraced a paranoid narrative enounced by the cynical and racist government which pedals the falsehood that 'real' Quebecois are in mortal danger of losing their language.

Premier Legault's direct and insulting attacks on Quebec's minority constituents have opened up the floodgates and emboldened the haters to come out of the shadows and into the mainstream media.

Here is a compendium, by no means complete, of recent stories that you may find interesting.

Anglo-basher puts her ignorance on full display

When somebody makes a mistake in another language it's a bit gauche to make fun of them, but in this case, I'll make an exception because the gaffe is just so delicious and ironic.
Sophie Durocher is one half of the Journal du Montreal Anglophobic power couple, along with her husband Richard Martineau.
My favourite Martineau quote is when he told a radio audience that a teacher wearing a hijab is akin to a teacher wearing an FLQ t-shirt.
But I digress...

In a recent article Durocher goes off on the French over their propensity towards English phrases. On a visit to Paris, she was scandalized by what she saw and heard.

"What makes me laugh is when the French think they speak English, but use faulty expressions. “Take away” instead of “take-out”." 

Really? Is she that stupid?
Are there no editors checking her stories to prevent this embarrassment?

It's like complaining that the French are stupid because they use the English word 'lift' when everybody knows the proper word is 'elevator'

I don't think Durocher spends any time in England where 'takeaway' is very much their word for 'take-out'

It's always amusing to see a dunce giving lessons.


Le Droit online devoted a long report on the dangerous and anglicizing term 'Bonjour-Hi' that has become the poster term of creeping anglicization, a phrase utterly despised by defenders of the faith.

The story describes that, unlike Montreal, Bonjour-Hi doesn't seem to be making much headway in the Quebec city region. The reporter sent out to investigate this important issue says that for now, things remain safe. THANK GOD!   MERCI DIEU!

Interestingly the story goes on to negate the idea that French is in decline in Quebec, veering away from the conventional wisdom of an unfolding linguistic disaster'

"Sociolinguist Calvin Veltman doesn't believe that "Bonjour-Hi" is a symptom of the decline of French, as others fear. “It’s normal for languages to borrow expressions from each other,”

Quebecers - Francophones at least - have a feeling of inferiority towards the English, so we are much more touchy about cases like that than the French, for example," According to Mr. Veltman, this feeling of inferiority had its raison d'être before Bill 101 was passed in 1977. But today, it is no longer justified. In a recent article in La Conversation, Mr. Veltman argues that French is in a much better position in the 2016 census than in that of 1971, even if it has been in slight decline since 2001. LINK{fr}

Ikea's neat language hack

It should have been a feel-good story about a Quebec city Ikea hiring a bunch of Ukrainian refugees, none of who speak French but who do speak English.

The Ukrainians are keen to learn French through a company immersion program and are doing well, some have already been promoted.
In the meantime, they are fulfilling clerical, logistical and administrative roles but sometimes come in contact with customers and therein lies the rub.

To prevent 'incidents' where the English-only speaking employees might be confronted by customers for not speaking French, the company has devised a clever fix.
The Ukrainians are wearing big badges on their chest in the form of a Ukrainian flag with the message
“Je ne parle pas français, je suis ukrainien.”
(I don't speak French, I'm Ukrainian")

Maybe I'm too sensitive but I can't help but be a little creeped out by the idea of forcing people to wear ethnic or religious identifiers in public. 

Ex-Habs Petry asked for Trade because of Anglo Discrimination

If you think confrontations over language are rare, read this story where the management of the Habs admitted that longtime veteran Jeff Petry asked to be traded for language family reasons.

His wife and kids were so miserable here that they decamped back to the USA, while Petry remained.
It seems that his wife felt persecuted because of her lack of French.

"In a recent Instagram story Julie Petry, the wife of Montreal Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry, has reported being the victim of discrimination while simply doing groceries for herself, her family, and of course Jeff Petry himself. According to her story, Julie went to a local Costco where she was mistreated on the basis that she does not speak French, something that is of course perfectly understandable given that neither her nor her husband were born in a French speaking part of the world.

In order to avoid putting any words in Julie's mouth, here is her story in her own words:

Unfortunately for the Montreal Canadiens this will only help fuel the negative perception that many players in the National Hockey League have of playing in this market and will only serve to make it harder for them to attract free agents that often choose to go elsewhere when the option is available. Not only do players have to contend with a rabid fan base, which can also be a positive, but they have to deal with both French and English media when coming to the Montreal market.

Stories like this have a way of getting around and both players in the National Hockey League and their spouses are often in constant communication with one another. This will no doubt reach the ears of many players around the league and unfortunately for the Canadiens, who have done absolutely nothing wrong in this scenario, it could serve to hurt their chances of attracting players in the future." 

Bill 96 threatens Quebec's video game industry

Here's an interesting article taken from a French (France) tech website discussing the video gaming industry in Quebec.
"A new law aimed at protecting the language of Molière in Quebec could have a strong impact on video game studios.
We love our French language, but we probably don't love it as much as it is appreciated in Quebec. In this province of Canada, everything is done to preserve the use of our language, to the point that it sometimes becomes ridiculous.
Certain laws put in place force the titles of films and works of all kinds to be fully translated, often giving rise to more than laughable names. We think in particular of Fiction Pulpeuse for the famous film by Quentin Tarantino or even the Pixar Cars which has become Les Bagnoles. Even fast-food brands are not immune and KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) bears the sweet name of PFK (Poulet Frit Kentucky) there.
 The problem when love turns to obsession is that the dynamic can quickly become toxic and harm others. And this is unfortunately what is about to unfold with the adoption of a new law for the protection of the French language.
But what does this have to do with geek culture you might ask?
The video game industry with a strong presence in Quebec could well and truly be destroyed from the inside by this new projected law adopted by the government.
For those who do not know, Quebec is home to many studios and some of their branches such as Ubisoft, Warner Bros Games, and Eidos Montreal to name a few. The video game industry is so developed there that no less than 11,000 people are direct employees. In this profession, English predominates as the main language, but this is not going to last in Quebec studios.

Indeed, the new Bill 96 law provides for many changes in the legislation around the French language and the entire province will find itself impacted. With the adoption of this project, the French language will have to be applied everywhere and systematically, including at work and in business, everyone will have to learn French. International employees are starting to get scared and many are ready to jump ship to avoid the language barrier.

In an effort to maintain the purity of the French language, officials in France have banned popular gaming terms such as 'pro-gamer' and 'streamer'. Going forwards, official government communications will use more traditional terms such as 'joueur-animateur en direct' in place of 'streamer', which literally translates to 'live player-host', and the slightly more forgiving 'joueur professionnel' for 'pro-gamer', which, as you've no doubt guessed, translates to 'professional player'.

Other terms effected by the change include 'eSports', which is now 'jeu video de competition', and 'cloud gaming', which became 'jeu video en nuage'. All in all, we guess it makes sense; the French language is beautiful and words like 'eSports' don't exactly have the same... je ne sais quoi. Hey, look what we did!" Journalgeek

In another story

A group of 138 Quebec tech industry leaders signed an open letter to the provincial government taking issue with the six-month language restriction as an “unrealistic deadline” for newcomers already dealing with a life-changing move, as well as the bill’s provision that all business contracts must be drafted in French. Link

Big stink over English on Quebec ferry

This utterly hilarious article offered in Le Soleil  In English only sur un traversier de Charlevoix  is my favourite story of the week.

It seems that Quebec's scandal-plagued ferry service could not find a boat and crew to man a ferry service in the outback town of 
Saint-Joseph-de-la-Rive where anglophones are virtually nonexistent and bilingual francophones as rare as a Leafs fan.

For the ferry service (STQ,), it was a choice between bringing in an outside boat (with a crew who come from away and speak no French) or no ferry at all.
And so you can imagine the calamity when the decision was made to bite the bullet,
In the best tradition of the error-prone ferry service, a spokesman had this to say.

« Nous aimerions que l’équipage soit 100 % francophone, mais l’anglais demeure une langue acceptable dans les circonstances. »
 Bruno Verreault

("We would prefer that the crew be 100% francophone but in the circumstances, English is acceptable")

I don't think a spokesman for any Quebec department should announce that they prefer to hire only francophones and I don't think M. Verrault meant to say what he said, but we get the idea.

The story doesn't end there as the Anglo crew and the captain seem to be rather incompetent, crashing into the dock more than once and on one occasion knocking 
down and damaging several parked motorcycles.
The word was soon put out to avoid the "black and white" boat and wait for the safer 'francophone' boat.

Of course, complaints have been duly lodged against the boat and the ferry service, not for the bad driving, but rather for the lack of French amongst the crew

I told you it was funny!

Why Bill 96 is good for National unity 

An interesting read by  Mario Polèse in a Policy Options article opines that Bill 96 is no big deal and in fact has the perverted effect of getting Quebec to recognize the constitution, something nationalists have always claimed was never recognized by Quebec.
"In the end, the two controversial clauses are mainly about symbols and perceptions. But symbols and perceptions matter. In this case, they are a much-awaited step for many Québécois on the long (and tortuous) road to enshrining Quebec’s distinctiveness in the Canadian Constitution. The final paradox is that, by explicitly invoking the Canadian Constitution, Bill 96 thereby acknowledges that Quebec recognizes, albeit implicitly, the existing constitutional order. Bill 96 may well be ultra vires, but it is not an attack on national unity. Au contraire." Link

Two Solitudes

Of Quebec Francophones offering an opinion, 60% believe they are economically dominated by Anglophones. . Link

Yet in a story on CTV;

"Whatever your image of Quebec English-speakers -- rich Westmount-dwellers, perhaps -- odds are that it dates back a few decades.

A new report has created an updated portrait, and it's starkly different than what many expect, showing that English-speakers are struggling financially compared to their French-speaking counterparts." 

Quebec English-speakers have higher unemployment, lower income than French-speakers: study   Link

French  music is unpopular amongst francophones (especially the young)

Only one of the top 20 songs played in 2020 is French

Only two of the top 20 artists  played in 2021 are French and none in the top 12

"According to a report by the Office québécois de la langue française, with regard to Francophones, “young people aged 15 to 34 are those who practice their cultural activities the least in French”.

Anglo-Saxon cultural imperialism must end!

This imperialism endangers the cultural future of Quebec, the cultural industry of Quebec, cultural diversity in the world, the Quebec difference, the survival of the Quebec nation, etc.

It is essential to reverse the current trend to safeguard Quebec's difference. Quebec culture should occupy a predominant place in the lives of Quebecers and constitute the culture of reference for them. " TVA{fr}           Link (Eng)

What does the author propose as a solution?

"This is why I suggest that Quebec parliamentarians adopt a Charter of Quebec Culture.

The adoption of such a Charter should allow Quebec culture to regain the place it should always have occupied, that of common culture."

...of course. 

No Comment.....


Saturday, July 16, 2022

Quebec's Language Furor Masks a Deep Ugly Truth

"Panem et Circenses" (Bread and Circuses) extravagant entertainment, offered as an expedient means of pacifying discontent or diverting attention."

The raging language furor over the so-called fragile state of the French language in Quebec dominates the media and is monopolizing political debate conveniently crowding out issues that need to be debated and are fundamental to Quebec's well-being.
Premier Legault and his evil minions continually hammer away at the subject, reminding 'real' Quebecers at every opportunity that they are in the gravest of danger at the hands of an evil barbaric horde of Anglos and Allophones who dangerously breached the gates of fortress francophonia.

Like the Russian media that parrots Putin's mad fantasies about Ukrainian Nazis, so too does Quebec media parrot the fantasy that Quebecois du souche will soon be drinking tea and toasting the Governor-General speaking in the very best Queen's English, whilst their beloved French language and heritage is long-forgotten, consigned to the ash-heap of history, mercilessly drowned in the anglicizing sauce imposed by the overpowering English monolith.

The expression "Panem and Circenses" was coined to denounce the unwillingness of the citizens of Rome to act against their incompetent leaders. The idea was that as long as the distracted population was entertained and had enough to eat, the powerful could do what they wanted.

And so the language debate is a convenient distraction, one that papers over the deeper and more sinister malaise that shrouds the province in collective dysfunction.

Quebec is a province run by pencil-head politicians and a bloated cadre of bureaucratic idiots who overspend, over-govern, over-regulate, under-perform and under-deliver on just about every level.
The truly sad state of an under-performing society is ignored by the media obsessed with language and language alone.
Yes, other provinces have their own faults and problems and managerial messes, but none rise to the level of dysfunction, laziness, incompetence, mean-spirited and financial mismanagement that is Quebec.

Today the news cycle is filled with two stories that just about sum up the problems of Quebec.

A married couple, both emergency room doctors have decided to call it quits and move to Ontario to continue being doctors because life in Quebec is just so much harder.

"I love Montreal. It's the city I grew up in, and to leave it again for the second time, it's disappointing," Stasiak said.

They are leaving at a time when the Quebec health-care system has been heavily criticized for being fragile.

Montreal alone is short 18,399 health-care workers, according to the government's July 4 health-care system dashboard.

But after all their agonizing, it became clear to the doctors that compared to the hospital system they remember in Toronto, Montreal's working conditions, which they consider to be tough and inflexible, are incompatible with raising a healthy family. They say those conditions are a natural consequence of government rules limiting hiring.

And if they still had doubts about the move, Quebec's new language law, commonly known as Bill 96, sealed the deal for them. Link

 The second sad story is infuriating because not one politician had the guts to answer questions or apologize for the utter failure of Quebec's incompetent and understaffed paramedic service.

A 91-year-old Montreal woman died over the weekend after waiting seven hours for an ambulance and her family is now blaming ongoing staffing shortages within paramedic services.
On Saturday evening, Therese Pardiac injured her leg after a fall and when she couldn’t stand her family called for an ambulance.
Urgences-Santé said Pardiac’s call was re-evaluated multiple times and was considered low priority on each occasion. 
But by the time it arrived, seven hours later, Pardiac had passed away
On average, Urgences-Santé is short-staffed by around 30 per cent every night 
due in part to a lack of new recruits and workers absent due to COVID-19..... Read more

This crisis is not new, La Presse reported on the shortage back in February. On some nights Montreal is served by half the necessary units meaning that response time is absurdly long.
Now the part about a lack of recruits is interesting because La Presse also reports that many qualified candidates are being routinely rejected without explanation.

"We regret to inform you that your application has not been accepted", reads a laconic email received in May by Ahmed, the fictitious first name of an ambulance driver who worked for more than 20 years in the region of Laurentians—Lanaudière. Like all the other rejected paramedics who spoke to La Presse for this article, Ahmed requested anonymity so as not to harm his career.“I did the whole process, then I was refused without giving me any explanation,” he says indignantly. A process that spans several weeks and includes two interviews, psychometric tests, a medical examination and a drug test.
"I have no feedback from human resources after multiple attempts by email, by phone, I have no response from them as to why I was not selected," he continues, discouraged.

“There are no details of the reason,” confirms Urgences-santé spokesperson Benoit Garneau. “They have to work through all the things they have to do with the process,” he says, adding that candidates are welcome to reapply within a year . I don't understand how they can't even give at least one reason for the paramedic to improve, correct their shortcomings...
 And Ahmed is not the only one in this situation. La Presse spoke with three experienced paramedics and a new graduate who were refused a position at Urgences-santé without receiving an explanation. However, Urgences-santé regularly lacks personnel to fill all its shifts, and the situation is particularly acute at night and on weekends. During a weekend at the end of May, La Presse reported that more than half of the scheduled ambulances were missing due to a lack of available employees. The fact that it is so understaffed at night may force Urgences-santé to prioritize urgent calls at the expense of those for whom there does not appear to be an imminent danger to life. 
And this weekend again, almost all shifts will be marked by absences. During the night from Sunday to Monday, no less than 38 paramedics will be missing out of the 98 who should be on duty, according to Mr. Garneau, a situation representative of the last few weeks."Our goal this year is to hire more than 100 paramedics, but I don't think that will be achievable because there is a shortage of people coming out of school,"

Now I don't want to ascribe motives to the writer of the article but in choosing an Arabic-sounding pseudonym for the rejected paramedic candidate is he in fact trying to pass on a message about hiring discrimination?
And so it's easier to let people die waiting for an ambulance because in Quebec nobody will put up much of a stink anyways. The public's lack of concern or forgiving nature is staggering to behold or understand.

Perhaps Urgences-Santé might consider lowering their standards in the face of a crisis, perhaps taking an example from the Russian army in accepting any and all recruits including those cursed ethnics in the face of staggering manpower shortages.
Considering that Quebec paramedics don't offer much advanced medical care on the scene as in other jurisdictions, (the service is disparagingly categorized as a 'scoop and run') how much training is actually required?

This tragic mess is unsurprising in Quebec, where a higher level of failure and dysfunction is to be expected and endured without complaint or consequence. In Quebec, like in ancient Rome, the public has become inured to failure and mediocrity and as long as there is enough to eat and language controversy to distract, life goes on.

60 years ago I was playing street hockey on La Peltrie street in the Snowdon district of Montreal when an unfortunate miscue caused one of the lads to fall and break his leg. With no cell phones, we knocked on the nearest door and the homeowner called the police who managed the ambulance service in that era.
In less than four minutes a police ambulance screeched onto the scene and scooped the injured boy, padding him off to the hospital with sirens blaring.
The cops came back an hour later and told those of us still sitting around nervously that the boy was being treated and having a cast placed on his leg at this very moment. The two cops then presented us with a giant box of fries to assuage our concern.
Have we really made progress since then? 

Like most senior folks, who grew up poor by today's standards, the vast majority of us actually had a family doctor who even made some house calls when necessary.
When my bicycle was stolen back then in the sixties, a detective actually came to my house to take the report.
Progress over the decades in Quebec is not exactly something to brag about as our politicians would lead us to believe and while technology and modernization have made us all richer as the standard of living has risen dramatically, the fact is that the government's performance has deteriorated exponentially.

Hows many hours is the wait today in the emergency room to get stitches or to set a broken bone
compared to pre-Medicare times?
How many weeks or months is the wait for elective or 'non-urgent' surgery compared to the past.
How long a wait is it for an ambulance?
On and on it goes....
The Department of child welfare claims to be too understaffed' to take action when children are abused with sometimes tragic results. Then there is the complaint that 20% of Quebecers cannot find a family doctor. This is in consideration that Quebec has on average more doctors than the national average.

Though the national average is 230 doctors per 100,000 residents, Quebec boasts 243 for the same number of people 
Theoretically, we should have easier access to doctors,” Dr. Charles Bernard, president and CEO of the Collège des médecins du Québec, told The Canadian Press. “I think there’s an organization aspect,” Link
Today bureaucracy, wasteful spending, and under-performance underpin everything that the government touches.
I read an article about how Quebec's vaunted immigration department is so dysfunctional that french-speaking immigrants are opting to go to Ontario because of the months and years of delay. One fellow from France was refused a visa because he failed a French test, the only language he spoke.
Absurd? This is Quebec.
As for the political and public service, let me offer but one tiny example of how bloated Quebec has evolved in relation to public spending. 
The city of New York with a population of 8.4 million is represented by 51 members of the city council while that of Montreal with a population of 1.5 million is composed of 64 city councillors, which represents six times larger representation.

This bloat and dysfunction are really only half the story, after all the government is just a reflection of the society it represents.

And Quebec society, its people can shoulder much of the blame for what ails Quebec.

Quebec nationalist elite scoff at Canadian society, from the Premier's wife who disparaged Canadian culture to every nationalist journalist that describes Quebec societal values as kinder and gentler.
This fantasy is utterly false and sadly absurd. Statistics and facts bear out the opposite.

Quebecers work less than the rest of Canadians
The United States averaged 38.7 hours per week, per job, followed by 37.5 hours in Alberta, 36 in Ontario and 35.5 in British Columbia, while Quebec stands last at 35.1 hours.
Defenders will say that working less is a societal choice and it might well be, but Canadians in other provinces who do work longer hours contribute around 10 billion dollars annually to Quebec's budget through the moronically indulgent equalization program.
It's like your layabout brother-in-law telling you that he's making a lifestyle choice of working less while demanding that you augment his income.

As for generosity, Quebecers are notoriously tight-fisted and miserly with charitable hours volunteered, coming in last in both categories compared to other provinces.

Average annual volunteer hours by Canadians 

Average charitable donations made by Canadians

Quebec loves to boast that it is different from the rest of North America and goes to lengths to prove the point.
Its universal junior college system known as CEGEP replaces grade 12 and the first year of university with a burdensome extra layer which seems to fulfill no useful purpose. Like a country with a different train track gauge, trains must stop at the border.
It seems that the only function CEGEP fulfills is to keep Quebec students from attending post-secondary education outside the province because high school graduates are missing a year.
In response to Bill 96 and the proposed reduction in admissibility to English CEGEPs, some private high schools decided to offer a grade 12 in order that their students be equipped to seamlessly pursue an English education outside Quebec.
On hearing the proposal, the Quebec government went apeshit and immediately proposed banning any such program lest students find an easier avenue to leave Quebec.

Even Quebec's vaunted subsidized daycare system is so expensive that the service can only be offered to a portion of the population, creating a two and three-tiered system, something that Quebec is dedicated to fighting in the healthcare industry.
And then there's systemic corruption and discrimination that permeates Quebec society, worthy of an entirely different blog post.

Quebec salaries lag behind the Canadian average while being subject to the highest taxation rate in North America, further diminishing spending power. 

Still, nobody complains. 
Prisoners of language, Quebecers accept their lot, buying the nonsense that they are different, persecuted because of language and their supposed higher communal values and morals.
It is nonsense that politicians and nationalists pander in order to keep the masses from complaining.

And so Quebec is mired in mediocrity and dysfunction but as long as there's enough to eat and the English to bash, all is well.