2. Is there any actual empirical evidence either the French language or French culture of our province and/or country is in any way threatened?
3. Given that there is no official effort to assimilate Francophones in this country, why are separatist parties so concerned with the spectre of assimilation?
4. How would ten million ethnic French Canadians, almost all of whom speak and work in French on a daily basis, lose their language and/or cultural identity anyways? (without some kind of external compelling force)
14. How can a political movement designed to protect minority rights (the PQ, as it was originally conceived) turn around and infringe upon minority rights (the PQ, today) and claim any kind of political legitimacy? Bill 60 is institutionalized racism: it specifically singles-out religious minorities working in the public sector and demands they choose between their jobs or wearing religious garments or symbols.
He rose to prominence as a popular ‘de-bunker’ of magicians and mentalists (such as Uri Geller) by demonstrating that there are simple, scientific explanations for myriad phenomena. In other words, hardly the type to make rash judgements based on emotional (and unnecessarily so) political decisions.
Consider for yourself, I think the man has an excellent point:
“Within the last ten days I’ve been in New York, B.C. and Washington.
I was there to talk about various issues in chemistry but in each instance the topic of conversation with my hosts quickly focused on “pastagate.”
I felt ashamed to be from Quebec. We have become the laughing stock of the world. It is sheer lunacy that with numerous legitimate issues to be addressed, the narrow minded Quebec politicians worry about the French language losing its eminence because of what they see as a treacherous restaurant menu.
And it’s equally disturbing that while the Parti Quebecois commits these linguistic atrocities, the Federal government just stays silent.
The simple-minded critter who was in charge of the language police, and that is the proper description, claims that her heart was in the right place. Maybe so, but it is her brain that is missing.
A colossal misappropriation of public funds. We are actually paying people to go around measuring signs and telling stores to cover up “on” buttons on microwave ovens.
It is time to disband this foul operation and put the expertise of the employees to use in measuring the depth of potholes. Filling them probably lies outside their capability. It is truly amazing that Minister Diane de Courcy, when announcing the resignation of the head of the OQLF and declaring that questions in English would not be entertained, did not recognize the irony of standing in front of a sign declaring “Un Quebec for Tous.” Surely that rusty brain needs some oiling.
Educated Americans used to be ashamed to say that George W. Bush was their president. Compared with our premier, he was an intellectual giant.
Now the PQ says Bill 101 needs to be strengthened. It needs teeth. At a time when we have to cut healthcare and education spending (resulting, as expected, in a raise in tuition despite all the campaigning to the contrary), it pushes for more OQLF inspectors (something the PLQ was planning on doing principally to mollify the soft-nationalist vote) and sets them lose amongst the small-business classes, a challenge to civic harmony if i ever dared imagine one, and hopelessly inept at containing bad PR as witnessed recently by the appropriately named pastagate – the suffix ‘gate’ so overused and meaningless it now appears to be entirely fitting when covering anything to do with the over-zealous law school drop-outs and philosophy minors who constitute the rank and file of the tongue troopers.
It’s a kind of political theatre. The appearance of actually doing something to fix a problem that doesn’t actually exist.
In any event – just a few thoughts on a festering, oozing sore. Enjoy the video, it seems clear to me Morley Safer found the whole thing rather amusing, least of all because of Louise Beaudoin’s near-hysterical defence of Bill 101’s excesses (such as the language cops). It’s quaint seeing how a recently neutered PQ government, such as it was in 1998, returned to using the OQLF to give itself the appearance of legitimacy. Fifteen years later and we’re in just about the same situation.
We have a place-holder mayor and our public focus, of late, has been on the over-zealous actions of a state-sponsored public annoyance while we wonder whether the Charbonneau Commission has anything more than quick wit and a sharp tongue-lashing in store for the criminal shit-stains who have robbed us of an immense wealth in tax-revenue with kick-backs and socks stuffed with cash.
Our city isn’t just held hostage by an unstable political situation, it’s that such a situation is being purposely maintained, and has been for quite some time in fact, quite to the benefit of the organized crime element in the city. As long as the political situation remains unstable, political parties of every shape and size will seek to attain some new leverage by feeling compelled to bend or break rules to secure a militant voting base.
Is it any wonder our best and brightest refuse to involve themselves with politics? It’s a losing proposition, particularly if you actually value clean government over whatever bribe might get waved in your face. The altruistic among us leave – if we can’t get our shit together here why even bother trying to create a more perfect and just society, we were best suited to make it happen, and look at us now. Forty years of stasis.
I want the brain-drain to end, I want an end to the instability. Most of all, I don’t want our city to continue having to go hat in hand to various levels of government seeking funds to grow. Enough is enough, we have nearly two million people within the city and another two living in bedroom suburbs that simply would not exist without the city’s economic power. Why are we not in control of our own destiny?
Is it not time for us to be masters in our own house?
Quick aside, I was overjoyed to see how quickly all this OQLF bullshit went viral, attracting international scorn and further serving to remind the world of what a pathetic laughing stock the PQ really is.
Remaining in the middle, caught between competing interests gives us nothing but fodder for our media, and countless reasons to hate on each other, returning to solitudes and silos, something we once turned our backs on as regressive, counter to our nature.
Our city will only succeed when our own citizens recognize their inherent, personal sovereignty, and the sanctity of our own society and culture.