23 August 2011

Patriots and Scoundrels


René Lévesque once described a Quebecer as "someone who lives here and pays his taxes here." By that standard, Michael Sabia meets the test of being a Quebecer, having lived and paid his taxes, as well as raising his daughter here for the last 16 years. He's an Italo-Ontarian-Québécois. This is why we have words like allophone. He might not have been born in Quebec, but even better, he chose Quebec.


For Bernie, that's it. Whatever his qualifications might be, the bilingual, Ontario-born-and-raised Sabia is not of the tribe, "not one of us," as Margaret Thatcher used to murmur so endearingly. He's a Canadian, he's an anglo, therefore he's a foreigner. As the outrage mounted, it was discouraging to note that Landry was not alone in this opinion ...

[Reed Scowen] noted that Claude Lamoureux, Quebec-born, educated at the Université de Montréal and Laval, had enjoyed some success in Toronto. Indeed he did. Lamoureux retired in 2007 after nearly 18 years in charge of the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, another giant investment vehicle of the same order as the Caisse de dépôt.

"If the Globe and Mail or Toronto Star were to say Claude Lamoureux shouldn't be running the Teachers' fund because he didn't understand the culture of English-speaking Canada, well, there'd be an explosion." Indeed.

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