Par Beryl Wajsman le 12 juillet 2013
Whenever a tragedy happens, there seems to be a default question. Who's to blame? Though that's critical, might we suggest a new default question. How can we help?
We seem to be mature enough to ask that second question whenever there are tragedies caused by nature's fate. But when tragedies happen through error, we almost need reassurance that something - anything - will be done to avoid it happening again. But there is no assurance of that. That's why the word "accident" is still in the dictionary.
Par Beryl Wajsman le 2 juillet 2013
There has been a troubling undercurrent recently by some in the non-francophone communities that proposes that one is either a Canadian or a Quebecois. This proposition is historically inaccurate, morally reprehensible and patently hateful. It evidences a rejection of our history, an ignorance of our laws and a disdain for the truth. My Canada includes Quebec!
It includes Quebec not merely as a physical territory, but as a moral patrimony. A patrimony which if lost, would leave Canadian values bereft of the best of us.
Par Beryl Wajsman le 28 juin 2013
So young Meaghan Moran, a 17-year-old part-time employee at a South Shore IGA supermarket, has become the latest victim in the ongoing babel about protecting French language and culture in Quebec. And yes we meant to spell babel just that way. Read on. Because this time it's different.
It's different because Meaghan is a victim not of some snooping inspector or some "denonciation anonyme," but of a store supervisor who told her that Quebec law did not allow her to speak anything but French even in the employees' room of the workplace, and that in any case if anything other than French was allowed "ghettos" would be created among the employees. Rubbish of course.
Par Beryl Wajsman le 22 juin 2013
So, now the barely legible words "what's your mix" and "Sweet moosic" on the plastic spoons of Menchie's yogurt has drawn the attention of the OQLF language troopers. The words are moulded into the plastic spoons in all 305 North American locations. They are barely legible because the spoons are all monotone. But Menchie's has been told by an inspector that they may have violated Bill 101 and the issue was under investigation. Trouble is, only three of the locations are in Quebec and the spoons are produced at the franchise operator's American headquarters. That bit of reason and sanity has failed to move the guardians of French purity.
Par William Johnson le 16 juin 2013
On May 19, 1994, Jacques Parizeau addressed the National Assembly: “We are a state that subscribes to the rule of law. Canada and Quebec are not banana republics. There is the law. There is the Constitution. There is international law. And we have all been elected to defend the rule of law.”
Wonderful statement, even if Mr. Parizeau did not always practice what he preached. But there is a problem: for the rule of law to be in effect, the citizens must have a clear understanding of what the law requires. That is anything but the case in Canada, in Quebec, when the issue is secession.
Par Beryl Wajsman le 9 juin 2013
Warrant issued based on resolved past infraction; entrapment to enforce arcane law existing only in Quebec may be in issue.
The recent seizure of the Globe Restaurant’s liquor supply, subsequently overturned in court just before the Grand Prix, did not stem from any offence. In fact, the Globe’s owners were not even presented with a copy of the warrant as mandated by law. It has also come to light that a previous incident in 2011 may have been the result of possible police entrapment, a tactic condemned in numerous judicial decisions going all the way to the Supreme Court and grounds for a legal defense usually resulting in acquittal.
Par Beryl Wajsman le 9 juin 2013
Il vient un temps dans les affaires entre gouvernants et gouvernes ou chaque action de l’administration publique aiguise la mefiance du peuple et ou le defaut d’agir suscite sa colere. C’est la ou nous en sommes rendus a Montreal. Tout contrat social entre les citoyens et l’Etat demande une certaine cession par le peuple de sa liberte et de son tresor. Rien de plus. Le contrat social n’exige nullement l’abdication de nos prerogatives. Le contrat social ne permet pas l’imposition au public de fardeaux financiers additionnels sous la forme de penalites en guise de punition pour des services pour lesquels les contribuables paient deja des taxes, mais que leur impose la bureaucratie gemissante de l’administration publique. Montreal besoin un marteau pour un maire!
Par Sandy White le 9 juin 2013
L’Association quebecoise de la vie nocturne (AQVN) denonce fermement les recentes interventions abusives du Service de police de la Ville de Montreal (SPVM) dans les restaurants et bars afin d’appliquer des regles qui font l’objet d’un debat.
Au cours des dernieres semaines, plusieurs interventions policieres ont eu lieu dans divers etablissements visant verifier l’application des lois archaiques qui gouvernent l’industrie quebecoise de la restauration et des bars.
Par Beryl Wajsman le 21 mai 2013
Clearly the letter that Ministers De Courcy and Lisee released was nowhere near enough. Not enough because they failed to address the central point – Bill 14 is not necessary and is nothing but an attempt to solidify the `pur et dur` base through more politics of division. Not enough because the Bill demeans all Quebecers, francophones as well as non-francophones. Not enough because the government is still not willing to stop the economic destruction of Quebec by ceasing to put up these false issues of discord. But let us take another point of view for a moment and make what some of you may consider a strange plea.
Par Beryl Wajsman le 7 mai 2013
Yes I know. This kind of headline usually has the word "anglophone" in it. Yet last week two incidents demonstrated that politicians of several parties have not understood that the rejection of , and resistance to, Bill 14 may have done more to unite francophones and non-francophones alike in opposition to the politics of fear and the words of demonization than anything we have seen in recent history. And as much as many anglophones may be tired of some politicians taking their votes for granted through a perceived lack of choice, many francophones are tired of some other politicians taking their votes for granted by outdated appeals to prejudice and fear.
Par l'Hon. Irwin Cotler le 22 avril 2013
In the words of René Lévesque, “A nation is judged by how it treats its minorities.” Regrettably, linguistic minorities in Canada have often had to fight for just treatment, and that struggle continues against the backdrop of several troubling recent developments that threaten the rights of minority language communities throughout the country. Simply put, it is critical to ensure that minority language communities feel welcome and are able to thrive, and this is as true for Anglophones in Quebec as it is true for French-speakers elsewhere in Canada.
Par Bernard Amyot le 14 avril 2013
Depuis plus d’années dont je me souvienne, je dénonce l’ambiguïté sémantique imposée par les leaders indépendantistes québécois qui insistent et persistent, sciemment, à n’utiliser que le mot « souveraineté » lorsqu’ils réfèrent à leur projet de faire sécession du Canada.
Cette volonté incessante d’occulter la perspective d’une rupture a de tout temps été utilisée par les séparatistes québécois en vue de leurrer leurs concitoyens qui, sondage après sondage depuis près de 40 ans, refusent dans une large proportion d’adhérer à cette option lorsque la question leur est clairement posée.
Par MIchel David le 7 avril 2013
Plusieurs tendances lourdes et extérieures à Montréal ont contribué à son déclin depuis la deuxième guerre mondiale, par exemple: voie maritime, avions à long cours, déplacement de l’économie vers l’Ouest.
Ces tendances ont été exacerbées par de trop nombreuses blessures que nous nous sommes infligés nous-mêmes, mentionnons le FLQ, la dégradation des standards académiques, les plus hautes taxes, l’immobilisme, les fusions/défusions, les infrastructures, le très mauvais management; en somme, l’absence complète de leadership
Par Dan Delmar le 5 avril 2013
After a provincial election in September where the Parti Québécois spoke of French tests for candidates seeking public office, watering down Montreal’s ethnic communities and ridding the public sector of religious symbols – except for those linked to Catholicism – observers expected Quebec to become, yet again, a national embarrassment. The PQ has not only met, but exceeded expectations with a new round of childish, xenophobic rhetoric this week.
Par Me.Linda Hammerschmid le 31 mars 2013
As with every type of case heard at the Supreme Court level, our changing social customs, over time, coupled with new appointments at our High Court, usually bring about new judgments on old issues.
As a Canadian citizen, I have reached the end of my patience with the time and money wasted on and by the OQLF.
Last time I checked, (2 weeks ago), the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guaranteed me, and every other Canadian citizen, even those who live in Quebec, the right to use English.
Par William Johnson le 31 mars 2013
Even as English is again under attack at the National Assembly during the hearings on Bill 14, it is perhaps true that most Quebecers have been misled into believing that English is not also an official language of Quebec. But that’s entirely unfounded in fact or in law. English has been an official language of Quebec ever since 1763. Every law passed since then has been passed in English. Every law to be passed by the current Parti Québécois government will be passed in English as well as French, and the English text will be official, just as will be the French.
Par Beryl Wajsman le 14 mars 2013
Monday night the usual suspects held a rally in support of Bill 14. You know who they were. Impératif français, Mouvement Montréal français, etc...ad infinitum...ad nauseum.
But at the press conference before the rally - a rally attended by only several hundred attesting to francophone fatigue on this issue - one Pierre Dubuc,editor of L'Aut' Journal, decided to unburden himself of his true feelings and blurted out, with unconcealed venom, "If someone can't ask for a Métro ticket in French, let them walk!" Well M. Dubuc, here's a message for you. Why don't you take a walk! Out of here!
Par Beryl Wajsman le 13 mars 2013
Les gens devraient lire le projet de loi et comprendre que le mal est possible ici. Il n’est pas question de langue dans ce projet de loi. Il est question d’une tentative vénale par un gouvernement qui a dû reculer sur presque toutes ses promesses de tenir la ligne de partie de sespurs et durs grâce à une politique de diabolisation, d’invalidation et d’interposition.
Par P.A. Sévigny le 13 mars 2013
"Canadian rights in Quebec are in jeopardy," group warns, " and maybe it's time for a Maple Spring."
In what many have called the largest gathering against discriminatory Quebec acts that curtail civil rights since Premier Bourassa used the notwithstanding clause in 1989,some 800 people crowded into the downtown Delta Hotel in order to attend a conference staged by CRITIQ ( Canadian Rights in Quebec.) CRITIQ is a broad alliance of anglophones, allophones and francophones dedicated to ensuring that constitutionally enshrined Canadian civil rights - particularly with respect to language - are respected in Quebec.
Par Beryl Wajsman le 13 mars 2013
Angelica Montgomery`s report on CJAD this morning that the CAQ opposes important elements of Bill 14 is gratifying. But this is not over. The CAQ will be voting against Bill 14 because it rejects closing English CEGEPs to francophones, and it supports the right of municipalities to determine and protect their own bilingual status. The CAQ also wants the exemption for soldiers’ children to be maintained.
Par Beryl Wajsman le 13 mars 2013
The man who is arguably Quebec's busiest Minister, and some would say the one holding the brief on the most contentious issues, took time out for a rare weekend interview this past Saturday. Jean-François Lisée, Minister for International Relations, External Trade, La Francophonie and Minister responsible for Montreal, forthrightly addressed concerns on the politics and policies of language of the Marois administration that have many Montrealers, regardless of cultural background, angry and concerned. To his credit, Minister Lisée set no preconditions on the questions that would be posed.
PITY THE FRANCOPHONE PARENT IN QUEBEC! The language of education in Quebec - why does the majority continue to favour the minority?
Par John N. Buchanan le 13 mars 2013
Ever since the PQ returned to power (and in the election campaign beforehand) language has been back on the political agenda. A draft law with new provisions to bill 101 is presently before the National Assembly, proposing to tighten the language rules for businesses with at least 26 employees (down from 50) and requiring CEGEPs to give priority to English students first before granting spots to francophones. In addition, the proposed law - in a perverse way - guarantees that any French employee cannot be fired because they are unilingual, raising the spectre of an endless parade before the tribunals of wrongful dismissal cases, based on language, and a fear amongst businesses of hiring unilinguals.
Par William Johnson le 13 mars 2013
Was it symbolic? Quebec’s labour minister Agnès Maltais took a plane to the national capital Monday but was unable to land. The airport tarmac was covered with freezing rain making a landing dangerous.
The Quebec minister flew to confront Diane Finley, the federal Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. Maltais insists that Ottawa doesn’t understand Quebec’s labour market. She came intending to set Finley straight and insist that the reformed program for employment insurance that went into effect in January be rewritten to suit Quebec. In fact, the policy of the Quebec government is to demand the total transfer of employment insurance to Quebec, as part of “la gouvernancesouverainiste.”
Par Ryan Bellerose le 13 mars 2013
I am a Métis from Northern Alberta. My father, Mervin Bellerose, co-authored the Métis Settlements Act of 1989, which was passed by the Alberta legislature in 1990 and cemented our land rights. I founded Canadians For Accountability, a native rights advocacy group, and I am an organizer and participant in the Idle No More movement in Calgary. And I am a Zionist.
Let me tell you why.
Par Akil Alleyne le 11 mars 2013
New York - In my last comment in these pages, I cautioned federalists against allowing the Parti Québécois’ underwhelming 2012 election performance to lull them into complacency. Even with a mere minority government, the Péquistes will pounce on any political friction between Quebec and the rest of Canada, the better to roll the referendum dice again. There is no telling what developments may so offend Quebecers as to make a third referendum a realistic possibility. Separatism has appeared to go into terminal decline before and yet still experienced frightening resurgences, usually with little or no warning. It is exactly when separatist sentiment is at low ebb that federalists should prepare a strategy for dealing with the threat if it ever rears its head again.
Par Colin Standish le 11 mars 2013
When I think of Bill 14, I think of Sandra. Sandra goes to the English-language Dollard-des- Ormeaux (D.D.O.) school just off Valcartier military base near Quebec City. When I met her, she emotionally asked why she would have to change schools and lose her friends. Her father serves in the military and was wounded in Afghanistan. She lives with her mother, her parents separated partly due to the strain of post-traumatic stress after her father returned from combat. Now, one of the few constants in her life, her elementary school and close friends, could be taken away by Bill 14.
Par Jim Wilson le 11 mars 2013
One of Quebec’s recent educational musings is to consider revising the History course presently been taught in schools. Revamping and revising school curriculum should be part of ongoing educational practice; however, when a history course is being changed it requires great scrutiny, for no other course is more susceptible to a government’s manipulation. The oft quoted statement that ‘history is written by the victors ’ can be challenged; history, as taught in schools, is written not by the victors, but by governments, who have control of the curriculum content, the text books, and the examination format.
Par Beryl Wajsman le 11 février 2013
So often, we become immune to the nationalist nonsense coming out of Quebec. It all becomes so much white noise. Many would tell us that we've taken so many punches that the latest is simply a distinction without a difference.
Once in a long while - sadly - we get off our lethargy and remember that we are Canadians - not just Quebecers - and that we are imbued with inalienable rights. That is what is happening now in the reaction of anglophones and francophones against Bill 14. Our civil rights matter!
Par Beryl Wajsman le 24 janvier 2013
When Provincial Health Minister Dr. Réjean Hébert took the unilateral decision last week to pull Lachine General Hospital out of its arrangement with the MUHC, Hébert violated the cardinal promise of the Hippocratic oath. Do no harm!
Hébert justified his decision by saying it was necessary to protect Lachine's "francophone vocation." It is true that LG is listed as a franchone institution. But its decision to join the MUHC was based not only on its need for more money and doctors, but also on the fact that the physical proximity of the MUHC was simply closer than the francophone CHUM.
Par Nathan Elberg le 14 janvier 2013
Chief Theresa Spence’s moderate hunger strike is the polar opposite of the war tactics of the 17th and 18th century Indians of James and Hudson’s Bay. The lowlands of the northern forest, their shorelines and muskegs were hotly contested by the Cree and Inuit prior to the arrival of the Europeans, as the latter moved further and further south. The fur-traders turned the tide in favor of Indians, who were first able to trade for guns; the Inuit were initially kept unarmed by Hudson’s Bay Company policy. The armed Cree turned with a vengeance on their Eskimo rivals.
Par Beryl Wajsman le 13 décembre 2012
Rarely does a piece of legislation come forward that calls for complete rejection. Bill 14 however is just such a piece of proposed law. No Liberal or CAQ MNA should even think of compromise or common cause with the PQ government of Pauline Marois on this regressive and retrograde proposal.
Its rejection is compelled not just by the social, cultural and economic damage it will cause; not just by the civil rights - legislative and acquired - that are once again aborted ; but by the sheer transparent political opportunism and venal prejudice that gave it birth.
Par Beryl Wajsman le 13 décembre 2012
Mere prescence will be used to validate Conference speakers and sponsoring organizations with Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas ties
Liberal leadership candidate and Papineau MP Justin Trudeau’s decision to give a keynote address at the “Reviving the Islamic Spirit” conference taking place in Toronto Dec.20-23rd . is a disappointing one and potentially disastrous for liberalism. His mere prescence will be used to validate some of the most retrograde elements on the political landscape that are associated with this Conference. In that he hurts Canada.
Par Beryl Wajsman le 28 novembre 2012
Let us be clear. Freedom is indivisible. And perhaps the most indivisible freedom is expression because it is perhaps the most fragile and always the first to be assaulted by tyrants.
So where is the line? This has been the subject of endless debates and discussions. But on one aspect, all agree. Overt incitement to violent hatred – and the encouragement of that incitement – clearly and candidly expressed, cannot be tolerated. And more. Those who are in positions to influence public opinion, whether in elected office or in the fourth estate, have a responsibility to maintain a higher standard of vigilance and intelligence....
Par Kristy-Lyn Kemp le 25 novembre 2012
Another twenty-second of the month has come and gone, and with it, yet another student protest. This latest was two-thousand strong, and was just as demanding as ever. You would figure that now that Pauline Marois is in office and has abolished all proposed tuition increases that the students’ battle would be over. Finally, you’d figure, they could hang up their little red squares and put their parents’ pots and pans back where they belong, but this latest demonstration has proven that they believe their cause is not over. Rather, as one protester stated, it is “just beginning”.
Par Beryl Wajsman le 30 octobre 2012
And here we go again! Another incident with a subway ticket taker insulting a customer on language. This time it ended in a fight with possible assault charges against the STM employee.
Mina Barak said the incident occurred at the De La Savane métro station (in a predominantly English part of town) when an Opus machine took her money but did not provide transit tickets. When she spoke to the STM employee in the ticket booth in English, harsh words were exchanged. The employee allegedly told her to “go back to your country” and “in Quebec, we only speak French."