18 July 2016

Translator: From 1960s Ball Park French, to English, to 2010s OQLF French

Get 'em while they're hot!
biftek a la Hambourg = hamburger = hamburger (prev. hambourgeois)
saucisse fumee = hot dog = hot dog
frites = French fries = (pommes de terre) frites
liqueur = soft drink = boisson gazeuse
cacahuetes = peanuts = arachides
patate chips = potato chips = croustilles

William Johnson: What counts as history in Quebec

http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/william-johnson-what-counts-as-history-in-Quebec

What these eminences stated in 1992, the Supreme Court of Canada would also state in 1998. But Quebec’s textbook, dated 2009, distorts history and law to legitimate unconditional secession. Recalling Lévesque’s 1980 referendum, the textbook omits the fact that a veto was promised to the rest of Canada. Then, revisiting the 1995 referendum, it ignores the fact that Parizeau intended, with the merest majority, to overthrow the Constitution, even though the question was confusing and, as polls showed, most voters assumed that Quebec would remain in Canada. Then, Stéphane Dion’s Clarity Act of 2000, setting federal conditions for negotiating secession, is discussed with no reference to the Supreme Court’s decision on the conditions for secession. And there are more examples of bias. This is history?

04 June 2016

Challenge to Quebec sign laws headed to Court of Appeal — www.cbc.ca

Challenge to Quebec sign laws headed to Court of Appeal — www.cbc.ca



In seeking leave to appeal at Quebec's highest court Friday, O'Brien said that Quebec's sign laws are not just unconstitutional but outdated, as well. 


"In this case, we brought factual evidence about the current demographic situation of French in Quebec," he told reporters in Montreal. 
"Our view is that you cannot interpret [it] as being currently vulnerable. There's no threat of extinction of the French language right now."


21 May 2016

Quebec's historical demands

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/senate-expenses-spur-outrage-but-reform-abolition-not-easily-done-1.3031249

The Quebec government has said that any talks about the Senate would have to be broadened to deal with that province's "historical requests," such as recognition of its distinctiveness and demands for more powers — the same divisive issues on which the last two constitutional ventures, the Meech Lake and Charlottetown accords, foundered. First Nations leaders would likely insist that aboriginal issues be part of the mix as well.

approval over appointment of Quebec judges to the Supreme Court of Canada
opting out of shared-cost programs in provincial jurisdiction,  with full compensation for compatible programs
recognition of a distinct society in the constitution
more powers (e.g., communications)
and a veto over constitutional amendments

16 May 2016

Freedom of religion under the Canadian Charter(s) of (Human) Rights and Freedoms

Larry Miller and the case against the niqab - Macleans.ca



Freedom of religion under the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms (and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms ) consists of the freedom to undertake practices and harbour beliefs, having a nexus with religion, in which an individual demonstrates he or she sincerely believes or is sincerely undertaking in order to connect with the divine or as a function of his or her spiritual faith, irrespective of whether a particular practice or belief is required by official religious dogma or is in conformity with the position of religious officials. This understanding is consistent with a personal or subjective understanding of freedom of religion.  As such, a claimant need not show some sort of objective religious obligation, requirement or precept to invoke freedom of religion. It is the religious or spiritual essence of an action, not any mandatory or perceived‑as‑mandatory nature of its observance, that attracts protection.  
The State is in no position to be, nor should it become, the arbiter of religious dogma. Although a court is not qualified to judicially interpret and determine the content of a subjective understanding of a religious requirement, it is qualified to inquire into the sincerity of a claimant’s belief, where sincerity is in fact at issue. Sincerity of belief simply implies an honesty of belief and the court’s role is to ensure that a presently asserted belief is in good faith, neither fictitious nor capricious, and that it is not an artifice. Assessment of sincerity is a question of fact that can be based on criteria including the credibility of a claimant’s testimony, as well as an analysis of whether the alleged belief is consistent with his or her other current religious practices.  
Since the focus of the inquiry is not on what others view the claimant’s religious obligations as being, but what the claimant views these personal religious “obligations” to be, it is inappropriate to require expert opinions. It is also inappropriate for courts rigorously to study and focus on the past practices of claimants in order to determine whether their current beliefs are sincerely held. Because of the vacillating nature of religious belief, a court’s inquiry into sincerity, if anything, should focus not on past practice or past belief but on a person’s belief at the time of the alleged interference with his or her religious freedom.




Julius Grey is anti-hate speech law

Supremes decided only the most extreme speech is hateful e.g., incitement

(a la Keegstra)

unpleasant, hurtful speech is not illegal (Beaubien Quebec)

mock, disapprove if you like

'the only proper answer to poor speech is more and better speech'

comedy exists to find a line, and jump over it

The Holocaust is not an excuse for censorship



13 May 2016

Survey reveals troubling data on religious tolerance in Quebec

http://montrealgazette.com/news/how-widespread-is-islamophobia-in-Quebec


  • 43 per cent of respondents said you should be suspicious of anyone who openly expresses their religion.
  • 45 per cent said they had a negative view of religion.
  • 48.9 per cent — roughly one out of two — said it bothered them to be attended to by a woman wearing a hijab.
  • Dan Delmar: Quebec Liberals add to irrational language laws




    When it’s estimated that over half of Quebecers struggle with literacy issues and new media are dominated by English-language content, the need for strengthening the French language shouldn’t be debatable; how to achieve tangible results for francophones, however, is.
    Culture Minister Hélène David announced on Tuesday that modifications in Quebec language law would force companies whose trademarked English names are protected to add French elements to their facades in the form of a descriptor, slogan or advertisement that communicates some form of commercial message.
    These are measures that are already adopted by the overwhelming majority of Quebec retailers, making the new regulations redundant at best. While it would be advisable for any Quebec business to communicate to its clients in French, it should not be the government’s role to dictate to entrepreneurs in the private sector how to go about doing that (the presence of the French language in the public sector has been, and should continue to be, protected by law).

    10 May 2016

    The meaning of national unity

    It involves national compromise

    Football Association in England/FIFA/Sikhs

    Turban question to be answered at weekend soccer assembly

    A spokesperson for the Football Association in England sent The Gazette an email saying that FIFA "has a rich tradition of giving everyone who wants to play football the opportunity to do so, irrespective of the faith, culture, beliefs, cultural background, sexual orientation, nationality and race.
    There are “many examples at the grassroots level where Sikhs enjoy the game without compromise to their faith or culture,” said the FA spokesperson, Tracey Bates.
    In fact, she said for several years a Sikh man named Jarnail Singh refereed many games in England’s senior leagues while wearing a patka, a square piece of cloth that is tied on top of the head.