31 August 2009

"Ontario's performance shames Quebec"


Flexibility is a key part of the success. Individual school boards choose the best programs for their area and their students.
In Quebec, such flexibility is anathema. Faced with problems that a greater degree of autonomy might solve, Quebec's instinct is always to tighten its grip, write up more rules and demand more reports.

We can see the results: 100,000 more high-school dropouts since 2003. It's time Quebec tried looking outside its borders for solutions.

30 August 2009

"A shameful waste of valuable manpower"


Quebec has the smallest proportion of foreign-trained doctors among its health-care practitioners, the Canadian Institute for Health Information has reported. With barely one in 10 of its doctors trained abroad, Quebec trails all other provinces ...

The provincial government has been assuring Quebecers for years that it is doing everything it can to make sure there are enough medical practitioners to look after them. And they believed the province.

Should they have? Saskatchewan managed to increase the number of doctors practising there. Half of them are foreign-trained. In Newfoundland and Labrador more than a third of doctors were trained outside Canada, along with one in four of Ontario's doctors ...

26 August 2009

Old soldiers never die ... they just get played away

... I was quite involved with St Anne's after it was discovered that the new French management was hiring only French personnel as the English left and also applying French tests to the surviving English medical and nursing staff to see if they could stay ...

Despite its location in Quebec, 70 per cent of the patients were English, statistically reflecting the percentage of Quebec soldiers who went to World War II (and WWI for that matter).

So what happened was that a high number of patients were dying in French, which of course was viewed as no bad thing to those who are horror-struck by the prospect of a French guy dying in English.

The complaint came from a Dr Harry Polansky (latter a leader of the Canada Party which had an interesting history of its own), a dentist, while I was at the Suburban. I got him to write a detailed letter to the editor (letters to the editor have a slight measure of qualified privilege in libel law) outlining his charges.

After I published this, I went after the head hospital honcho, who despite his English name, was French, and did a few more stories, gathering more sources. Eventually, under considerable pressure, the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages did what they called an "Enhanced Investigation" and found what we were saying was true.

Of course, nothing was done about it, other than supposedly ending the advertising for bilingual staff in French journals only.

Curiously, I wanted a copy of the report and press release from the Commission of the Official Languages office about six years ago to help a friend of mine (Kim McConnell of the Language Fairness movement in Ottawa which has Harold Galganov behind it), but they would not release it, even though they had made it public at the time. I think you would have to go to the Freedom of Information people to get it now ...

25 August 2009

That's why they call it color television.


The network is V, formerly known as TQS, and before that as Quatre-Saisons. Occasionally innovative - it was the first French-language network to recruit non-white on-air personalities - the network has been mainly known throughout its 22-year history for programming that is cheap in more than one sense of the word.

19 August 2009

No, just the regular kind.


"Anglophobes"?? Is that anything like "reverse racism"?

Nothing like a good "family" feud


The simplistic narrative of the Conquest of Quebec is not universally accepted even among the conquered.

If the national question is, as some francophones like to point out, really a family feud, let's hear all the voices.

OTTAWA — The mayor of Quebec City apparently isn't interested in the French royal coat of arms that a French-language advocacy group in Gatineau, Que., wants the Canadian War Museum to return to the city.

Jean-Paul Perreault, president of Imperatif francais, last week demanded that the carved pine coat of arms that sat atop one of Quebec City's gates until 1760 be returned because it was "looted by violence" after the Battle of the Plains of Abraham.