A few things since I’ve been gone…

Boxes - Taylor C. Noakes, Spring 2013

So I should start off by saying that yes, there has been a flu bug going around, and I caught it and have been bed-bound since Friday night. The most walking around I’ve done since then was to walk from my GP’s office to the Queen Elizabeth Health Centre, a walk which I’d normally thoroughly enjoy, though today it damn near almost killed me.

Turns out I caught some kind of a bronchial infection along with the flu, and thus have been coughing like a TB case. The unintended consequence was that I’ve stopped smoking, and can now smell much, much better than I have in many, many years.

As to the Queen E, it’s an excellent facility. Though it used to be a nearly full service community hospital, it got the ax (along with the Reddy Memorial – today’s YMCA hostel near Cabot Square – and another hospital that escapes me at the moment) back in the 1990s when the government was dealing with major budget cuts to health and education (sound familiar?) Today it’s rundown and in dire need of some reno work, but basically serves as an enhanced CLSC with a wide variety of diagnostic and community health services offered. I wish them luck. I can imagine Westmount-adjacent former hospitals named after an old Brit are in the crosshairs of some PQ gov’t hack.

That said, there was one lady in the radiology dept. who clearly did not like her job and wanted you to know it. The kind of person who doesn’t say hi or even make eye contact with people, but who sternly says ‘read the sign’ before you have a chance to say hello yourself. This same person is also the kind of individual who casually ignores a person standing in front of her for five minutes. Was it not obvious I had a simple question to ask?

Perhaps she was having a bad day, but I don’t really give a shit. There are days when we all hate our jobs – it doesn’t give anyone the right to be a grade-A prick.

And for the record, this woman was a WASP.

Every single other person I encountered, from the lady at the info desk to the guys in the canteen, the various radiologists and X-ray technicians – all were delightful, warm, open, sincerely nice, comforting people. Many of them would be described as ‘visible minorities’. The Indian guy in the lab coat brought me the funnies after I had jokingly enquired about the quality of magazines in the waiting room. By contrast, the other white person I encountered got nervous when he heard me coughing, strolled over and tossed me a face mask without saying a word. Rude. I’m not contagious; least he could have done is asked if I was okay.

Fucking white people – always bringing me down.

And on that note – the one group of blancs I despise the most, PQ sympathizers and separatists, are going above and beyond to make immigrants feel as unwelcome as possible these days.

I hate the PQ with every fibre of my being, and here’s why:

At the top it’s all philosophical, academic, serene discussions and musings about the complexities of cultural integration and Québec’s future in North America. But at the bottom, the foundation that props up the PQ elite is composed of some of the most backwards buck-toothed hillbilly scum this province has ever produced. They are the 49% of adult Québécois who lack basic literacy skills. These are the people who take it upon themselves to fight the PQ’s battles ‘on the front lines’.

Whether it’s STM employees: example 1, example 2, example 3

Or just your average schmuck riding the bus…

Or some schmuck at the mall…

Or the thousands of primary and secondary teachers in the CSDM system who teach in immigrant-heavy public schools on the island of Montreal, and who half-ass it because they know they can get away with it. Just about every single immigrant I’ve ever known or ever met who attended a French language public school has at least one story of a teacher who did nothing to hide their absolute disdain for the people he or she was teaching. This point was echoed rather masterfully by local comedic super star Sugar Sammy, who recounted how his high school history teacher was little more than a PQ propaganda machine, and promptly gave up on his students the day after the 95 Referendum.

It’s not just sad, it’s tragic this is what we’ve allowed our province to become.

The news today is that violence against Muslim women in this province has risen considerably since the institutionalized racism charter was first proposed.

The violence, as always, is being committed by the little people down at the bottom. The PQ can claim they only intend for reasonable discussion, and can appeal to the public for calm, but they know goddam well this happens every time. Their rhetoric primes people, stupid, stupid people, for hate, and they win elections because of it.

As an aside, the pharmacist who helped me out with my prescription wore a hijab. She spoke both English and French fluently and was friendly, helpful, warm – exactly the kind of person you want to deal with when you feel like you’re on death’s door. She didn’t try to convert me, we didn’t discuss religion and she seemed pretty damn well integrated into our society from my vantage point (and brief exchange of words).

As a pur-laine Québécois (which I am and have the documents to prove) I can tell you first hand I didn’t feel socio-culturally threatened in the least.

I felt cared for.

I have never felt cared for by the PQ.

The sooner we erase this clown college from our collective memory the better. The single greatest threat to Québec is the Parti Québécois. Whatever good that may have come from the premiership of René Lévesque (and I would argue strongly that he did good things for our province and our people), has now been completely undone by the ruthlessly regressive, fundamentally racist party that now idolizes him as patron saint.

Frankly, if mon oncle René were alive to see this, he’d disavow the party entirely.

End of rant…

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