31 August 2011

Trust a partisan (not) for a cheap shot.


Trust toddsschneider to pull out of one more Montreal Gazette hate-laced Op-Ed[,] the paragraph were [sic] Don McPherson singles out the only Left politician in the Assemblée Nationale, eschewing MacPherson's critique of Mario Dumont and Monique Jérome-Forget's "transition allowances".

I eschew nothing, besides the facile (and faulty) description that Macpherson is among the hate-mongers. One need not be a federalist to recognize a venal move among the Quebec political class, but it never hurts.

Besides, Macpherson spares no legislative party in this critique, left, right or centre, so he singles out no one in particular.

I posted the the link to the whole article for any interested (but fair-minded) readers to come to their own conclusions. I can't wait to see the Quebec solidaire press release on this one.

30 August 2011

Which country is that?


So why is it that artists chez nous seem so at home dreaming up genre-bending multidisciplinary works that wow 'em everywhere from Montreal to Moscow?

"It's because we do not have the weight of the history and tradition," said Pilon, who has been working in tandem with Lemieux for 20 years.

"In Europe, they have these institutions that have existed forever and the director is God. Here in Quebec, theatre didn't exist until the late '50s, so everything was to be invented. We didn't have mentors. We're the generation of Expo 67, where everything was possible."

But we're also different from our anglophone neighbours in the New World, Lemieux adds.

"With our European roots, because of the language, that means we're a new country but we have this tradition, and we can make something new with it," Lemieux said. "Also it's because of our culture here. The hierarchy is much more horizontal. We can go and speak with (Cirque du Soleil boss) Guy Laliberté and we're at the same level as him. That would be impossible in another country."

29 August 2011

Longest-serving MP looks for recognition... again - Inside Politics

Longest-serving MP looks for recognition... again - Inside Politics

Bloc MP Louis Plamondon, the longest-serving MP in the House of Commons, checks the ballot box used to elect the Speaker at the start of the last Parliament in 2008. (Tom Hanson, The Canadian Press)

28 August 2011

school daze

"Schools don't need more autonomy - school boards do"


Quebec's English school boards, while facing enormous challenges of geography, resources, and restrictions on student eligibility, have had comparative success in terms of graduation rates. Close to 80 per cent of students across our nine member boards completed high school in 2007. That matches the objective set by the minister for the year 2020. In fact, six of Quebec's top seven school boards with respect to school completion rates were from the English sector.

"Creating a culture of learning"


In Quebec, one out of three students drops out before the end of the 12th grade - and this proportion, the highest in Canada, reaches 40 per cent in some poorer areas. The provincial government recently launched a $50-million campaign, partly financed by a private foundation, aimed at convincing students, and especially their parents, of the need to obtain at least a high-school diploma ...

I was recently talking with a man who teaches French to newly arrived immigrants. His best students, every year, are the Chinese immigrants, even though their native language has nothing in common with French and their culture is very distant from Western culture. The reason is simple: "They're used to working hard," says the teacher. "They learned this in their own families."

... These Chinese immigrants are certainly not flush with money. They succeed and stay in school because the Chinese place a very high value on education - something, unfortunately, that is not a defining feature of Roman Catholic culture. Could this go back to the time when Catholics were discouraged from reading because reading and interpreting the Bible was the task of priests under the Pope's guidance? ...

In any event, governments cannot force parents to value education and they can't force inattentive parents to make sure their children go to school even if they don't like school. But one thing governments should do is face this reality: Any initiative to lower dropout rates should be aimed at boys, who are the primary victims of this deplorable trend. Boys are much more prone than girls to drop out of school before the 12th grade - and this at a time when there are fewer and fewer good, unionized, blue-collar jobs available. Factories have relocated to Asia and industries in the resource sector are now highly automated. Girls with little education can get jobs in various lower level social and health services. There is no future for uneducated boys.

26 August 2011

Trudeau deconstructed

Trudeau deconstructed

Of all our passions and appetites, the love of power is of the most imperious and unsociable nature, since the pride of one man requires the submission of the multitude.

-- Edward Gibbon,

The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire

Who Am I?

  • "Nous sommes écologistes" ("We are environmentalists")
  • "Nous sommes de gauche" ("We are on the Left")
  • "Nous sommes démocrates" ("We are democrats")
  • "Nous sommes alter-féministes" ("We are alter-feminists")
  • "Nous sommes altermondialistes" ("We are alter-globalists")
  • "Nous sommes d'un Québec pluriel" ("We are from a plural Quebec")
  • "Nous sommes d'un Canada souvereign et solidaire" ("We are from a sovereign and united Canada")
  • "Un autre parti, pour un autre Québec!" ("Another party, for another Quebec!")

Quebec Bill 199 -- Charter of the French and English languages

Bill 199 -- 1 of 3

Bill 199

Introduced in the National Assembly

By Neil Cameron, MNA

Member for Jacques-Cartier [Equality Party]

Three leaders, three accents

Opinion - The Globe and Mail

Jack Layton was born in Hudson, near Montreal, and studied at McGill, at a time when French immersion classes were non-existent. He learned French mostly on the streets, through personal contact rather than by formal studies. His French is colloquial, and his syntax often faulty. His working-class accent sounds familiar, but it is very different from the mainstream accent that is considered the norm in French Canada – this standard being represented, for instance, by the news anchors of Société Radio-Canada.

As the sovereignists splinter, a new rival to the Liberals emerges

As the sovereignists splinter, a new rival to the Liberals emerges

25 August 2011

Canada News: Drainville says drastic reforms needed to pull PQ back from abyss - thestar.com

Canada News: Drainville says drastic reforms needed to pull PQ back from abyss - thestar.com

"Historian of Quebec's Royal 22nd Regiment wants them to know their past"


Quebecers, who generally don't get bowled over by the prospect of military history, are known as pacifists who are more stringent opponents of military conflict than Canadians in other parts of the country.

Yet the storied, Quebec-based Royal 22nd Regiment, the famed Van Doos, has never had much trouble over the years recruiting soldiers to fight for Canada in battles in France, Italy, Korea and other international hot spots, Lacombe acknowledges.

The Royal 22nd easily recruited 5,000 volunteers shortly after the regiment was founded in 1914, even though French-Canadians were generally opposed to conscription during the First World War, said Lacombe, the unofficial "biographer" of the regiment, recently arrived in Afghanistan.

"Even francophone medical grads are leaving Quebec"

You want to retain more doctors? Let them practice in the language of their choice.


Quebec has long benefited from unofficial linguistic protectionism; if skilled French-speaking Quebecers wanted to live, raise children, and work in their own language, there were few places in Canada outside this province where they could settle.
So Quebec could offer lower pay and poorer working conditions and still retain talent.
According to the most recent information from the Canadian Institute for Health Information, this province spent 11 per cent less per capita on health care than Ontario, and paid its doctors an average 25 per cent less. Even so, it had 23 per cent more doctors per 100,000 of population than its neighbour.

to unionist

" I wasn't talking about people living in a linguistic cocoon - in some "English quarter" of town - in some ghetto. I was talking about unilingual anglophones in Montréal (and largely elsewhere) who can go from Pre-K to postdoctoral studies in Montréal (and English-only public schooling totally tuition-free up to the end of CEGEP, which is the equivalent of Grade 13); deal with federal, provincial, and municipal officials in English; get health care in English, from GPs to specialists to hospitals to nursing homes; be CEOs of corporations based here; be professional hockey, football, or anything else players on local teams; shop anywhere, eat anywhere, watch movies and TV anywhere in English... "

Almost as if anglo Quebecers have the privileges of other English Canadians. But such privileges have their limits here.

Anyway, the claim is nonsense. Off the island of Montreal, some of those are rare privileges, resentfully delivered, if at all. Check with the Quebec [Anglo] Community Groups Network, and get back to us.

Like, check the figures on anglos in all levels of the civil service in Quebec, a sector progressives should care about passionately.

Furthermore, English-only education in Quebec is a myth, at least in Montreal. It's more like 60 % -40 % French, over the long term. Anyone care to correct this misconception further?

If it's good enough for Jacques Parizeau ...

... it's good enough for me.

Anyone who aspires to influence in the New Democratic Party of Canada, should be bilingual.

Are we federalists, or not?

Hospital overruns add to Charest's troubles


Add this: With the government planning to spend $42 billion on construction and infrastructure during the next five years, including the hospitals, more questions are being asked. Why? Because there are reports in the media of criminal elements possibly infiltrating some construction companies; projects that cost 10 per cent more in public funds than in other provinces; tax evasion; cozying up among big construction bosses, some politicians and union leaders; lucrative contracts often given to the same firms at the provincial or municipal levels.

ComSymp, maybe


Asked if he is worried that in his negotiations with Ottawa, he could be dismissed as a "separatist" for taking tough stands, Bachand retorted: "Wasn't Pierre Trudeau a communist in his youth?"

24 August 2011

French nurses gravitate to English hospitals: recruiters


Chemtob said young unilingual francophone nurses who choose to work at the Jewish because of the opportunity for day work tend to pick up English quite quickly.

“We help them out a lot,” she said.

But the help doesn’t happen in reverse, she said. Anglophone nurses who come to Montreal from outside Quebec lose their right to practise at all if they don’t pass French tests within a certain period of time, she said. The tests are administered by the Office québécois de la langue francaise, with input from the professional order of nurses.

Chemtob said the tests ask too much of anglophones in terms of their ability to write French.

“Most nurses at the Jewish don’t need to write French that well,” Chemtob said.

23 August 2011

Canadians of all political stripes will miss Jack Layton

Canadians of all political stripes will miss Jack Layton

The one notable thing we did have in common was our passion for electoral reform. Both times we met, we ended up discussing certain models of proportional representation — such as New Zealand's MMP system — that either interested us, or we felt should be used in some way, shape or form in Canada. Looking back now, it's a shame we never collaborated on a piece about this topic. I think it would have been interesting to see what we would have come up with.

He earned the right to be remembered with the greats

He earned the right to be remembered with the greats

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.

22 August 2011

Layton loses battle with cancer

Layton loses battle with cancer

"He was very principled. He would never allow anyone to say anything personal about our opponents."

Layton, occasionally referred to as "affable Jack," was nevertheless a combative partisan, at once critical of attack-style politics and a skilled practitioner of the art.

Square this circle.

Layton lost twice as a federal NDP candidate in Toronto in the 1990s, but in January 2003 — with a crucial endorsement from party icon Ed Broadbent — succeeded Alexa McDonough as the national leader of the New Democrats.

In May 2005, in a move Layton characterized as his greatest achievement as NDP leader prior to the 2011 election, he won agreement from Martin to shift $4.6 billion in proposed corporate tax cuts to $4.6 billion in spending on an array of NDP-backed social programs, environmental initiatives and other measures.

Sure. That pales beside MEDICARE.

Under Turmel, the party will be in free-fall.

What will be his tangible legacy?

Angry Ed divorced an Asian and married a White; Jack Layton divorced a White and married an Asian.

20 August 2011

Honesty is the best policy for 'true' sovereignists

Honesty is the best policy for 'true' sovereignists: It's not going to take place in a courtroom, but the de facto political trial of Parti Québécois leader Pauline Marois on charges of not promoting sovereignty strongly enough will open this weekend with the founding meeting Sunday of the Nouveau mouvement pour le Québec splinter group.

18 August 2011

Turmel turmoil

Turmel turmoil

If it's true that Layton and the NDP brass were aware of Turmel's most recent history and gave her the position anyway, you have to wonder what they were thinking. If they were broadsided and Turmel told them after the fact, you have to ask: Did it not occur to her this might be relevant information?The right choice for interim leader would have been - and still could be - Joe Comartin, and not because he's from Windsor-Tecumseh. Comartin has a long and impressive history within the party, and he has the respect of those across the floor.
No one could ever question Comartin's commitment to his party and his country. He is a true "federalist," and at this stage of his career, we can't see him running for leader, so there would be nothing to distract him from the job at hand. Given how big that job is, Layton should reconsider his choice.

16 August 2011

Métro Montréal - Samedi, c’est la journée de la bière!

Métro Montréal - Samedi, c’est la journée de la bière!

Listen, fellas, there's already an International Beer Day. Maybe you couldn't read the website?

Les Québécois sont invités à célébrer la bière de leur coin de pays samedi, lors de la troisième journée de la bière. Le but de cette journée? Développer la culture de la bière au Québec et créer un sentiment de fierté envers les produits et les artisans de bière du terroir. «Le consommateur recherche le goût, et la bière artisanale a du goût», déclare l’éditeur du magazine Bières et Plaisirs et initiateur de l’événement, Philippe Wouters.

Selon ce dernier, la province connaît un véritable essor en ce qui concerne l’industrie brassicole artisanale. «Il y a plus de choix que jamais sur le marché», affirme M. Wouters. Aujourd’hui, 76 brasseries et micro-brasseries œuvrent au Québec, dont 14 à Montréal. Plus de 400 bières québécoises sont offertes sur les tablettes.

Chez les Québécois, la bière a la cote, loin devant le vin et les spiritueux. En 2009, la vente annuelle de bière au Québec a été de 6 186 945 hectolitres et de 193 718 pour le vin et les spiritueux, selon l’Association des Brasseurs du Canada. Plutôt qu’utiliser la formule classique d’un festival où tout est réuni dans un même lieu, la journée québécoise de la bière met les amateurs au défi de visiter une brasserie près de chez eux et de se laisser tenter par de nouvelles bières artisanales ...

14 August 2011

Legitimate Political Questions

The Star emailed every Quebec MP in the NDP caucus

a short questionnaire

soliciting their opinions on the political future of the province

and whether they had changed over time

They were asked if they had ever held a membership in another political party at the provincial or federal level

That's between them, the party and Elections and Revenue Canada

how they voted in the Quebec referendums,

That's between them and the ballot box

whether they ever cast a ballot for the Bloc Québécois

That's both too much and too little to ask about; why not provincial parties?

and whether they considered themselves federalists, sovereigntists or believed another term would best describe their beliefs

A perfectly fair question.

13 August 2011

Quebethnic nationalism


Quebec continues to save Canada from a permanent Conservative majority, time and time again. Even the [Action Democratique du Quebec] failed in almost every outing. The [Bloc Quebecois] is the most effective progressive force in parliament. There's no question that Quebec is the most progressive part of Canada. Certainly no evidence that Quebec would elect an ADQ-style government, since the ADQ was just destroyed.
The ADQ was the official opposition in the previous provincial election leading to a minority government. That is the kind of failure the Ontario New Democratic Party dreams of at night. And the federal NDP has not the record of "support the bourgeois parties' minority government now, campaign on your platform later" of the Bloc Quebecois. The NDP has almost always tried to make Parliament and the country) work to the best of their ability.

"Ethnic nationalism" is at a low because what the [Parti Quebecois] practices is no longer ethnic nationalism, it's as civic as Canadian nationalism, which is hardly as pure as the driven snow. ... it's posts like yours that make me want to support the efforts by some in Quebec to get out of Canada. If that attitude sums up Canadian nationalism (or should I say Ontario nationalism?), better off outside Canada."
Let us put aside the debate as to whether Quebec belongs in Canada. Just tell us when in recent history an official opposition in English Canada said "speak white, hostie, or lose the right to vote or run for public office"?

Some Modest Quebec Proposals

Anglos should be as prportional in the public service as they are in the population.

Civic nationalism does not pre-occupy itself with what language you speak at home; ethnic nationalism does.

Quebec does not get a pass on its reactionary past, by extolling its putative progressive present.

Montreal Francais? Pas legalement

[Harel] has been disaffected by immigration, has ridiculed Westmount for its “anglo-British character that reeks of colonialism,’‘ and in spite of a court ruling that said otherwise, insisted that the Quebec government had “a right and an obligation to declare Montreal a French City".

10 August 2011

Ottawa snapshot: Waiting for Flaherty and Lebel’s unlikely fan - The Globe and Mail

Ottawa snapshot: Waiting for Flaherty and Lebel’s unlikely fan - The Globe and Mail

“Denis Lebel reminds us that many people have been associated with the Bloc for many different reasons quite separate and distinct from the sovereignty issue,” [Pat Martin] says. “I hope more former Bloc members come and join the NDP.”

Just can't avoid the words 'separate' and 'distinct' in Quebec can we? Is this dog-whistle politics?

Would the PM please shut up: Senior Conservative cabinet minister was BQ member for 7-plus years | rabble.ca

Would the PM please shut up: Senior Conservative cabinet minister was BQ member for 7-plus years | rabble.ca

Well, it's not April 1, and it's in the Globe and Mail just now, so presumably the fact Prime Minister Stephen Harper's transport minister, Denis Lebel, was a member of the theoretically separatist Bloc Quebecois for more than seven years during the 1990s means the federal Conservatives are either breathtaking hypocrites or they’re incompetent buffoons who didn't do their due diligence.

Nothing theoretical; it was front and centre in the platform, all along, as confirmed by party spokesmen.

Guaranteed, this story wouldn't have rated two inches on page B97 but for the fact the Conservatives have been raging for days about Acting Opposition Leader Nycole Turmel having once been a member of the BQ … just like the prime minister's esteemed cabinet colleague.

At the very same time she was prominent in the NDP.

The federal Liberals, desperately facing extinction, opportunistically piled on. One can hardly blame them after their historic rout in the May 2 federal election. But if there are no federal Liberal MPs from Quebec with a PQ/BQ taint, rest assured it is only because there are only seven Liberal MPs left in that province.

Iffy logic, at best. Given that most francophones voted for "sovereignty" in 1995, some Liberal MPs are likely guilty of that transgression.

As was written in this space last Friday, one can understand and sympathize with Turmel's association with the Bloc -- she is, after all, a social democrat and until Layton's Orange Wave crashed through Quebec before the federal election, the Bloc and the Parti Quebecois were the only social democratic shows in the French-speaking part of town.

Nonsense. There were federal NDP 'posts' in Quebec all along.

What this really shows is that both the BQ and PQ were mainstream parties in Quebec for a very long time, and many people with political ambitions no doubt joined them because that was the only way to have a realistic hope of political success.

Success, at what cost to principles?

The trouble with that kind of thing, of course, is that it could easily turn into a witchhunt. It would surely do the Conservatives no long-term good in Quebec -- which, for all their bravado about needing only Ontario and the West may be necessary for them to stay in power in the future.

Debatable. The Tories just proved they can get a national majority without a significant Quebec presence.

Hear the voices of anti-nationalist francophones:

09 August 2011

NDP support in Quebec could plummet if Layton doesn't return: Nanos | The Hill Times - Canada's Politics and Government Newsweekly

In Quebec, politics comes back to personalism, not ideology. So much for our vaunted 'sophistication'.

NDP support in Quebec could plummet if Layton doesn't return: Nanos | The Hill Times - Canada's Politics and Government Newsweekly

In all the commotion, Mr. Nanos said the much more serious question facing New Democrats is the loss of Mr. Layton. Nanos polls have shown 51 per cent of Quebecers believe Mr. Layton has the best vision for Canada, with Mr. Harper getting only 16.5 per cent in that area, while 58.7 per cent of Quebecers say they trust Mr. Layton, compared to only 14.5 per cent for Mr. Harper.

“Even compared to Stephen Harper, his brand is three and a half to four times stronger than Stephen Harper in the province of Quebec. It speaks to the enormity of the importance of Jack Layton to the New Democrats in Quebec,” said Mr. Nanos.

“Now, the New Democrats are on the defensive and their message is significantly distracted,” he added. “They have to find a way that hopefully changes the channel, so that for voters, especially voters in Quebec, they’re not thinking ‘how about that Nycole Turmel being leader of the NDP?’ They want voters in Quebec to think ‘what are the NDP doing to challenge the Harper government?’”

Lorne Gunter: A Tory used to support sovereignty. Many NDP still do. | Full Comment | National Post

Lorne Gunter: A Tory used to support sovereignty. Many NDP still do. | Full Comment | National Post

Alexandre Boulerice, the new NDP MP for Montreal’s Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie riding, admitted before the Turmel controversy surfaced that he remained active in QS, even after being elected to Parliament.

And Cree leader Romeo Saganash, the new NDP MP for Abitibi-Baie-James-Nunavik-Eeyou and Claude Patry, the new MP for Jonquière-Alma, have both openly supported the sovereigntist cause in the past.

By some counts, at least a dozen NDP MPs voted to break Canada apart in the 1995 Quebec referendum.

PQ's flip-flop on leader, policy shows the party is in disarray

PQ's flip-flop on leader, policy shows the party is in disarray:

"To save the PQ, we have to change the PQ," said Drainville, calling for the party's "renewal." And Bérubé said that in his consultation, "everything will be on the table," including the PQ's newly adopted policy on achieving sovereignty.

So this is how the PQ does things now: in reverse. Give the leader a confidence vote, then challenge the leader. Adopt the program, then consult the people. Hold the convention, then act as though it never happened.

The PQ isn't marching toward sovereignty. It's moonwalking.

Kyle Fact File


The parents have been estranged since Kyle was an infant. The father would not immediately provide an affidavit to prove his son’s eligibility.


Hugging his mother, the 11-year-old pronounced himself "very, very, very happy" after a Quebec-government administrative tribunal reversed an earlier ruling that would have sent Kyle back to a French-language school in the area where he said he had been bullied ...

Kyle's marks have improved this year to Bs from Ds last year, she said. "And he's doing 60 per cent of the curriculum in French" at Willingdon, [his mother] added ...

The Quebec tribunal reversed itself after it received affidavits from Kyle's grandmother in Alberta, as well as from his biological father, attesting to the father's English-language elementary education ...

Kyle rules

Yes, if a Quebec anglo child has learning difficulties with French, he is allowed to go to English school under ministry regulations. Not "special ed" schools, mind you, regular ones. We have no indication that`s Kyle`s situation, but the option is there. Thanks for understanding.

Putting Kyle in the English public school system is not a whim, it's a right under Bill 101. By my reckoning, Kyle's French coming out of English school will be better than the English coming out of French schools. What's more effective at second language acquisition, a 40-60 percent FSL/English blend, or an hour a week in English as done in the francophone regions?

Of course I live in Quebec, as opposed to some of the armchair "patriotes" on this board. Quebec is my home, where I live, work and love, like generations of anglos before me I belong, and I don't plan to leave.

08 August 2011

NDP set to wade into Quebec language debates

Politics - The Globe and Mail

A little-noticed private member’s bill that died a quiet death when the federal election was called has found new life as the NDP’s blueprint for the delicate task of legislating language rights in Quebec.

NDP Leader Jack Layton told a popular Quebec talk show last weekend that his priorities for the next parliamentary session include tabling legislation that protects French-speaking employees in federally regulated industries ...

07 August 2011

William Johnson: Take heed, Canada – there’s renewed radicalism in Quebec

Take heed, Canada – there’s renewed radicalism in Quebec - The Globe and Mail

... But the PQ leaders, except René Lévesque, never submitted to the rule of law. They claimed that the will of the people overrules the Constitution. “Quebec is free, free to determine its destiny, and we will liberate this energy,” Ms. Marois proclaimed. “We will take over all the powers that are essential to the flowering of a free people. Our legitimacy will come from the democratic will of our fellow citizens.” ...

In Quebec, both Liberals and Péquistes refuse to recognize the legitimacy of the 1982 patriation of the Constitution – maintaining that it would have required the consent of the National Assembly, which was opposed – even though the Supreme Court demolished in 1982 the Quebec government’s insistence that Quebec’s opposition made the new Constitution illegitimate. The court ruled: “The Constitution Act, 1982 is now in force. Its legality is neither challenged nor assailable.” ...

Ms. Marois will not even admit that secession lost in the referendums of 1980 and 1995. No, federalism won by fraud: “Twice before, we tried to bring this great undertaking to conclusion. Unfortunately, the Québécois were deceived. The people were misled by lies, by broken promises, by betrayals, by cheating, by the cowardice of the federalist camp.” ...

Since Pierre Trudeau left the scene, no prime minister has called the bluff of separatist pretensions, especially the assumption that a referendum score provides an unconditional permit to secede. This has been the doctrine of Jacques Parizeau, Lucien Bouchard and Ms. Marois, but also of Robert Bourassa, Daniel Johnson and Jean Charest. It’s a dangerous myth that could plunge the country into civil strife. ...

NDP Leadership uproar a gift to Quebec’s satirists - The Globe and Mail

NDP Leadership uproar a gift to Quebec’s satirists - The Globe and Mail

Mr. Chapleau said it will take time for his viewers to adapt to today’s reality and for the show to develop the comic traits of its new characters, such as anger-management issues beneath Mr. Mulcair’s silky public persona.

In his Friday cartoon, Mr. Chapleau portrayed Ms. Turmel behind the podium of the Leader of the Official Opposition with, at the bottom, logos for the NDP, the Bloc Québécois, Québec Solidaire, Costco, the Canadian Automobile Association and Air Miles.

05 August 2011

No Dogs or Anglophones: Weekend Update - Volume 32

No Dogs or Anglophones: Weekend Update - Volume 32

Gilles Duceppe won't go away
In an interview on RDI, June 21, Gilles Duceppe justified Quebec sovereignty in these terms:
"If Quebeckers, within 15 years, will not move, they will inevitably be on the same slope as the Franco-Ontarians and the Acadians." It is a rapid assimilation, we should not hide from the truth."
It seems that in order to remain relevant Mr Duceppe is upping the rhetoric, in a sad attempt to rekindle the separatist debate that has been firmly placed on the backburner by Quebec voters. The trouble for Mr. Duceppe is that he is yesterday's news, with little or no chance at a political comeback. He has come to symbolize failure and for a politician, it's the kiss of death.

You'd think he'd get a reaction after making the above statement and he did. It wasn't what he expected.

In an article in Le Devoi, Michel Paillé, took Mr. Duceppe to task. Using statistics, instead of emotion, the demgrapher showed that Mr. Duceepe's assertion is nothing but hot air.
According to him, in fifteen years there will be more French-speaking Quebeckers than there are now, hardly the road to assimilation.

Even if Quebec's proportion of Canada's population declines, Quebec's French society is still growing and is no danger of assimilation. LINK{FR}

04 August 2011

What Would Tommy Do?

Tommy would go beyond the what to the why.

Tommy would rise above partisanship, and give credit where it's due, like acknowledge John Diefenbaker and Emmett Hall as co-fathers of Medicare.

Tommy would meet with commies, but he wouldn't let them control his party.

Tommy would let his caucus break with him on occasion (e.g., the War Measures Act)

03 August 2011

Quebec Sovereigntaire


French is the common language of Quebec, Bill 101 needs to be strengthened, etc.

02 August 2011

Do the nationalist math

IF most Quebecers are francos,

AND IF most franco Quebecois voted for sovereignty,

THEN most Quebec political candidates will have been sovereignist.

New NDP Leader was long-time member of Bloc Québécois


The new leader of the federal NDP was a card-carrying member of the Bloc Québécois for five years and quit the sovereigntist party only last January, one month before she announced plans to run as a key member of Jack Layton’s team in Quebec, documents show.

Nycole Turmel was chosen last week to lead the Official Opposition during Mr. Layton’s absence, and revelations about her long-standing sovereigntist ties are expected to fuel concerns in federalist circles about her commitment to national unity. In addition, Ms. Turmel’s recent support for the Bloc will prompt questions about ongoing ties between the NDP’s massive contingent of rookie MPs from Quebec and the province’s secessionist movement ...