Language cops went too far yet again

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The much maligned Tongue Troopers were dealt a severe blow by Quebec Superior Court yesterday. This is a real good week for Quebec’s Anglos and those who believe in tolerance, rights and freedom.

Years of PQ lies of the demise of the French language have been exposed as fear mongering nonsense. Although Marois’ final words stressed her worry about French in Quebec, Premier-Elect Couillard’s assertion that there isn’t a parent in Quebec that doesn’t want their child to be bilingual connected with voters.

Quebecers are waking up to the reality that English does not diminish the French language; that being bilingual offers opportunity and prosperity; that the Fleur de Lys flag belongs to us all; that religious signs are not a danger to society.

Voters have turned their backs on old, tired debate. They have rejected the fear mongering about identity. Many no longer believe political demagoguery that held them back from learning the predominant language in Canada and North America. The dark days forced upon us by the PQ have come to an end – hopefully for good.

If the real issues are the economy, health and education, the time has come for the government to find new job opportunities for the Language Cops who are a drain on our tax dollars, an international embarrassment and overzealous according to our courts.

Passover and Easter are wonderful opportunities to reflect on a brighter, more prosperous future here in Quebec. Live and let live.

 

Major retailers win against Quebec language watchdog in French sign battle.

Oh what a relief it is

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It was an edge of your seat, sweaty palm, nail biter of an evening… for 18 whole minutes until CTV declared a Liberal victory.

 

I was hunkered down with my political brothers and sister, Anthony Housefather, Mitchell Brownstein and Ruth Kovac (the 2004 Demerger Team) along with Elaine Brownstein and Judy Hagshi. The stakes were high and our cheers were higher each time the red coloured results swiped across the screen. We toasted the election results, appropriately, with red wine.

 

Mitchell Brownstein, Anthony Housefather, Glenn J. Nashen and Ruth Kovac tost the Liberal victory with red wine in red goblets

Mitchell Brownstein, Anthony Housefather, Glenn J. Nashen and Ruth Kovac tost the Liberal victory with red wine in red goblets

We are very pleased with David Birnbaum’s victory in D’Arcy McGee, among the most decisive in Quebec with a 25,000 vote margin. David will be an excellent MNA for our riding. He fills enormous shoes worn by the ever so popular Lawrence Bergman but his experience, eloquence and compassion will take our level of representation to new heights.

 

Cote Saint-Lucers, in particular, will be relieved to see the despicable charter tossed into the National Assembly shredder, proposed language legislation shoved aside, Pauline Marois and her team reduced to crumbs, barely ahead of the CAQ in popular support.

 

So put away the For Sale signs, cancel the exploratory trips to Toronto and pack up your PQ kippa you bought in protest. It’s cool to be bilingual again and the Fleur de Lys flag belongs to us all, proudly next to the Maple Leaf.

 

There is hope that tomorrow will be better than yesterday. We will surely hold M. Couillard to his comments about English in Quebec and our place within Canada. But for tonight, let’s catch our collective breath, and pop an antacid. Plop plop fiz fiz. Oh what a relief it is!

This election can’t be over soon enough

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I’m counting the minutes until they count the last ballot. I’m frustrated and worn out from the longest 33 day (plus 18 months) campaign in memory. I’m exhausted from clenching the newspapers, yelling at the TV and wincing at the radio. I waved my fist back at PKP and cringed at Janette Bertrand. I got angrier each day with Marois’ venomous attacks on Anglos and religious folk and Ontario students domiciled in Quebec yet robbed of their right to vote.

Mailloux spewed anti-semitic poison that would have led to demonstrations elsewhere in Canada, but here the Premier stood by her side and shook her head in agreement.

Lisée contradicted Drainville who contradicted Marois who contradicted herself. I could barely keep score.

Yes, Canadians would still be able to visit Quebec without a passport as our borders with the ROC would be open, Quebec would help set Canadian monetary policy… Forget unilateral declaration of independence. Marois just willed it by snapping her little fingers without a referendum or negotiation. Chutzpah!

The Premier of all Quebecers showed us that nous didn’t include us. No need to debate in English.  You, ain’t nous. (The only upside was that we didn’t have to see her face on telephone poles deep in D’Arcy McGee).

But, Couillard gained the courage and determination to say to Quebecers what no liberal leader has said as long as I could remember (except when Charest was leader of the PCs in Ottawa, I’ll give him that). The English-speaking people of Quebec are full partners, our language does not diminish theirs and every parent in Quebec wants their kid to be bilingual, if not trilingual. And, oh this was a biggie, maybe, just maybe, he could settle old scores by working on Quebec’s place within Canada.

Could we really be at the dawn of a new era? This may be the last big chance to fix what’s wrong in Quebec and in Canada. Our kids are more mobile than ever before. The bilingual ones can pick up and get a job well beyond Quebec’s borders. Not so for the one’s whose parents voted away their right to teach them English at a young age.

If we can just get beyond the old and tired debates about language and independence and work to become more bilingual and more united with our fellow Canadians (who transfer billions of dollars to our cash-starved, economically depressed province, merci very much), maybe, just maybe, we can look ahead to a brighter, healthier, richer, happier tomorrow.

Fingers crossed. I’m going to vote!

If Quebec separates, we keep Montreal

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Jonathan Kay: If Quebec separates, we keep Montreal

National Post | March 5, 2014 

Having sown the political fields with an ugly campaign against ethnic garb and the English language, Quebec Premier Pauline Marois is now hoping to reap a bounty of votes in an April 7 provincial election. If she wins a majority, the province likely will hold a third sovereignty referendum. It’s been almost two decades since the last one, and separatist foot-dragging on the question of when they’ll get their “winning conditions” is beginning to take on a farcical Waiting-for-Godot aspect. If not now, when?

During the 1995 referendum campaign, the federalist forces held a downtown Montreal rally that drew an estimated 100,000 participants. But as Michael Den Tandt reported in Wednesday’s edition of the National Post, such scenes are unlikely to be repeated this time around. Quebec’s bloated welfare state and dysfunctional infrastructure programs suck in $16.3-billion more in federal money than the province gives back. Increasingly, Alberta is becoming Canada’s economic engine, as Quebec dawdles about developing its own energy resources and repels investors with its absurd language laws. To many Canadians, Quebec’s government looks less like a partner in confederation, and more like a bailout case.

Meanwhile, the Quebec government’s completely gratuitous attack on religious freedoms in the province finally has convinced many Canadians that the province’s society truly is distinct, albeit in the worst possible way. It goes without saying that not all Quebecers are xenophobes. But if they are willing to re-elect, in majority form, a government that builds its popularity at the expense of turbaned nine-year-old soccer players, hijabbed nurses, and yarmulke-wearing doctors, well that says something doesn’t it? We’re all federalists here, but the behaviour of Quebec’s government truly does strain the conceit that “Canadian values” hold interrupted sway from coast to coast.

So how should our federal government respond if a referendum is called by a re-elected Parti Québécois? Here are four suggestions:

First, don’t act as if Quebec separation would be some kind of apocalypse. Acting as if Quebec’s departure from Canada is unthinkable destroys our bargaining position on a hundred different issues once the referendum fails. Indeed, such hysteria is a major reason Quebec has built up that annual $16.3-billion bribe.

Second, notwithstanding the paragraph above, let’s not waste our breath lecturing Quebec about the economic fallout of separation. Like all sentimental nationalists, Quebec separatists see independence as a sort of magical elixir. Warning them about dollars and cents is like warning teenage poker players that all those cigars might eventually give them gum cancer.

Third, make NDP leader Thomas Mulcair — and every other soft federalist — tell us clearly whether he or she respects Canadian law. Specifically, the Clarity Act, which defines a valid referendum result as one based on “a clear expression of the will of the population,” expressed through “a clear majority” of voters — as opposed to the bare-bones majority standard of 50%-plus-one, which the NDP has supported since the Jack Layton era.

Fourth, and this is the big one: Have the courage to tell Quebec, flat out, that if Canada is divisible, so is Quebec. And whatever clear voting standard is used to adjudicate the overall result of the province’s referendum will be the same result used to adjudicate the status of the province’s northern Cree regions, the Eastern Townships, and, most importantly, Montreal.

There are several million people living in Quebec who oppose their provincial government’s separatist agenda

Which is to say: If 60% of Quebcers somehow can be convinced to vote for separation, while 60% of Montrealers vote to retain the status quo, then Ottawa should partition Montreal as part of sovereign Canada, free of Quebec’s parochial language laws, ethnic demagoguery and dead-end economic policies.

Partition wouldn’t be about Canada making any sort of land grab, even if that is how separatists would describe it. Partition would be about fulfilling our historical and constitutional obligations to Canadians — especially Anglophones and immigrants — who have grown up in this country expecting their government to respect basic rights (especially those pertaining to language and religion). Since Quebec’s separatists have shown that they have no intention of respecting these rights — indeed, that are willing to ostentatiously flout these rights as a means to appeal to the worst instincts of Québécois voters — the federal government must signal that it will act decisively when the votes are counted.

It is fine for jaded Canadians in Toronto and Calgary to say they’re tired of Quebec’s complaints, and that the province can just “go its own way” if it likes. But there are several million people living in Quebec who oppose their provincial government’s separatist agenda, and they may soon be looking to Ottawa for vindication of their rights. In the unlikely event that the separatists win a referendum, the voices of these Canadians must not be ignored.

National Post

Mayor Housefather’s Santa Claus poem on Bill 60 and the PQ

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Mayor Anthony Housefather of Côte Saint-Luc reads his poem entitled The PQ the Week Before Christmas.

 

Sermon by Rabbi Lionel Moses on the eve of Yom Kippur: Mme. Marois, read my lips!

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The following is a brilliant and evocative speech by the rabbi of Shaare Zion Congregation in Montreal. Congratulations to Rabbi Moses. Y’asher Koach. May his words and his teachings inspire our government and our fellow citizens to show respect and tolerance for one another. For good.

Glenn

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Open letter to Pauline Marois from Tommy Schnurmacher

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Bravo to CJAD’s Tommy Schnurmacher for this poignant, tongue-in-cheek missive to the Premier of Quebec.

My open letter to Pauline Marois

Posted By: Tommy Schnurmacher tommy@cjad.com ·

Dear Pauline,

Sorry that I have not written sooner; it really has been ages since we spoke. Actually, we’ve never spoken before, but you know what they say – better late than never.

You do know, Pauline, that you certainly don’t need an invitation to drop by whenever you are in town. Pop by my studio any weekday between 9 and noon. I work at CJAD. Yes, CJAD. It’s an English radio station right on the corner of Rene-Levesque and Papineau, you can’t miss us. Even if I’m interviewing some Anglo, never mind just come right in, sit down and make yourself at home.

I must congratulate you on the proposed Charter of Quebec values. Everybody, but everybody, is talking about it. Many of my friends are concerned about the massive debt and economic situation in this province and you cannot imagine how elated they are that you have managed to take their mind off such a depressing subject.

I know that we have a $258 billion debt, but I hear that you will borrow close to $2 million to help spread the word about the charter. Those Liberals would probably waste that money on hiring more nurses or some silly research project.

Before I forget, Pauline, please convey my best regards to that charming Monsieur Drainville who did such a fine job introducing the Charter the other day. The artist rendering of the hijabs and kippas and turbans causing such consternation was not exactly Mona Lisa, but it really was very well done. A fine Quebecois artist no doubt.

Monsieur Drainville was very helpful to point out that the new charter is intended to unite us and provide clarity. I must commend him on his kind approach insisting that these measures will be phased in over a five year period so that those minorities get used to the idea of slowly being deprived of their rights without feeling like anyone is in an unseemly rush.

When it comes to referendums, the Clarity Bill, we both know, is utterly appalling, but you can never have too much clarity when it comes to banning religious minorities from landing a government job, now can you?

I know that you are such a busy woman having to comment on all those Brits punching each other out because of multiculturalism, but I hope you can help answer some questions from some of my dim-witted friends who just don’t get it.

One friend owns a big depanneur. He doesn’t want to hire more Muslim women or any religious Jews or Sikhs, but he has heard that it is against the law to discriminate against anyone on the basis of religion. He wants to know if it would be okay for him to tell these ethnics that he does not want to hire them because he wants to have a neutral depanneur.

There is also a question posed by my neighbour who owns a small daycare centre. She has three Muslim women working for her who wear hijabs. Apparently, they do a very good job with the little kids. She wants to know if she should fire them right away unless they take off the hijab. If they refuse, should she attempt it to remove herself or will there be a specific Quebec government office to call.

Before I sign off , I must also commend you on your decision to keep the crucifix in place in the National Assembly. It’s part of the patrimoine, n’est-ce pas? For some reason, that Argentinian man in the Vatican, you know, the one who wears a white kippa, he is under the impression that the crucifix is a religious symbol, but what does he know?

Pauline, you have always said that Quebec appreciates diversity and that in Quebec, there is a place for everyone. Thanks to this Charter, minorities will know their place.

A la prochaine,

Tommy

 

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