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Réinventons Montréal: Cité-État

Par MIchel David le 7 avril 2013

David_Michael.jpgPlusieurs 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

PQ language tantrums reach a new low

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.

The time call on Ottawa for rights protection is now

Par Me.Linda Hammerschmid le 31 mars 2013

hammerschmid_linda.jpgAs 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.

The myth of disestablished English

Par William Johnson le 31 mars 2013

johnson_william.jpgEven 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.

 

You take a walk M.Dubuc!

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!

 

Cinq éléments les plus honteux de le projet de loi 14

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.

CRITIQ launch draws near record numbers opposed to Marois' policies

Par P.A. Sévigny le 13 mars 2013

critiq_01.jpg

"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.

 

It Is Not Over! Stay Vigilant And Resolute/

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.

Exclusive: Lisée on language and Montreal

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.

Agnès Maltais’ aborted pilgrimage to Ottawa

Par William Johnson le 13 mars 2013

william_johnson.jpgWas 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.”

 

A Native and a Zionist

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.

 

Mulcair’s Folly

Par Akil Alleyne le 11 mars 2013

alleyne_akyl.jpgNew 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.

Our Soldiers' Children

Par Colin Standish le 11 mars 2013

Standish.jpgWhen 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.

Beware of Quebec`s revisionist history

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.  

Estates-General on Quebec Sovereignty: A Distinction With A Difference

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!

The only language of a hospital should be healing

Par Beryl Wajsman le 24 janvier 2013

lachine_hospital.jpgWhen 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.

The Ancient and Idle Attawapiskat Wars

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.

Bill 14- Don't even think about it! A memo to Liberals and the CAQ

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.

Justin Trudeau’s decision to address Islamic Revival Conference hurts Canada

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. 

L’AFFAIRE FABI” The Need To Hold To A Higher Standard

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....

Students protests just don't cut it

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”.

A Matter of decency: Does Montreal need a Birmingham Bus boycott to get the point across?

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."

 

NEXEN and a Proposal to define the opaque Net Benefit Criteria

Par Hon. Céline Hervieux-Payette le 28 octobre 2012

Payette_Hervieux.JPGThe proposed buyout of Nexen Inc., a Canadian oil and gas company which has been discovering and developing energy resources in some of the world’s most significant basins – including Western Canada, the UK North Sea, offshore West Africa and the Gulf of Mexico – has been causing quite the commotion amongst politicians and the public.  Why is that?  The interested buyer happens to be wholly owned by its government – a government, it can be argued, whose values and beliefs differ greatly from our country, Canada.

Ella Bergeron and the empowerment of intolerance

Par Beryl Wajsman le 24 octobre 2012

And now the youngest victim of the nationalist rhetoric of the recent election campaign. The tragedy of two-year old Ella Bergeron this past weekend in Hudson. We say this not to exploit a child. But if the “little children shall lead them,” then the story of little Ella leads us to a hard and bitter truth.

Des promesses qu’il valait mieux ne pas tenir, sauf une !

Par Pierre K. Malouf le 19 octobre 2012

Élu le 4 septembre avec 31,9 % des suffrages exprimés (0,7% de plus que les libéraux)  et 54 sièges sur 125, le gouvernement dirigé par Mme Marois ne pourra pas tenir la plupart de ses promesses. N’étant pas totalement réduit à l’impuissance,  il a quand même pu prendre quelques décisions douteuses découlant de son programme électoral. J’en mentionnerai quelques-unes. Le moratoire complet sur l’exploitation des gaz de schistes annoncé, moins de vingt-quatre après son assermentation, par la nouvelle ministre des Ressources naturelles, Martine Ouellet, est le premier exemple qui me vient à l’esprit.

No mandate! A prejudiced, “not-ready-for-prime-time” government

Par Beryl Wajsman le 19 octobre 2012

One thing is clear from the narrow election result in Quebec - it gave the PQ no mandate for any of its radical agenda. It was to be hoped that we could take Pauline Marois at her word that she not only respected, but understood the will of the people. However, from the  inflammatory rhetoric, the sparking of new language friction and the irresponsible fiscal policies it was perhaps too much to hope for.The only sign of hope are the endless flipflops and reining in of her Ministers that she has done.

Tolerating intolerance in Quebec

Par Dan Delmar le 19 octobre 2012

Delmar_Dan_bw.jpgAnglophone pundits, myself included, were targeted recently by the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste, a radical sovereignist group founded in 1834, whose ideas are barely more evolved than they were 178 years ago.

SSJB president Mario Beaulieu was so crass as to accuse some in Anglo media of creating a climate of hate that led a madman to shoot up the Parti Québécois’ victory celebration, killing Denis Blanchette.

 

Once upon a time in Quebec

Par Akil Alleyne le 19 octobre 2012

alleyne_akyl.jpgI’m not sure what to make of the recent Quebec provincial election. To be sure, the results were hardly surprising, given Jean Charest’s long-dwindling popularity. It’s a shame that the outcome appears to vindicate the anti-tuition-hike movement’s unreasonable goals and undemocratic tactics. (In truth, it does no such thing, at least not without proof that the tuition issue moved more votes than, say, the Charest government’s corruption. Alas, in politics, perception always trumps reality.) Nonetheless, since the Parti Québécois was first elected in 1976, Quebecers have consistently given each major party exactly nine years in power before trading it for the other.

Some Federal Electoral Boundaries proposals are questionable

Par Marvin Rortrand le 19 octobre 2012

The Federal Electoral Boundary Commission is proposing major changes to the electoral map and citizens and community groups have only a few more weeks to register to comment.

The Commission is mandated by law to review the electoral map on a periodic basis taking into account population shifts. This time the task is complicated by the decision of Parliament to increase the number of seats nationally from 305 to 338. Quebec's representation goes from 75 to 78 which has provoked major changes in boundaries many of which will give citizens pause as it often appears that the principles of physical integrity of neighbourhoods and community identity have not been respected.

 

Quelques questions pour J-F Lisée

Par Steve Ambler le 19 octobre 2012

Prenons deux individus, les deux parlant bien le français, le premier de Bordeaux et le deuxième de Shanghaï. Le premier parle français à la maison, et donc selon la logique du PQ vaut plus que le deuxième...

Religion and a secular charter for Quebec

Par Father John Walsh le 19 octobre 2012

I grew up in Montreal when the French-speaking Roman Catholic Church was literally present everywhere, from the opening prayer at a hockey tournament to the blessing of a beauty salon.  The hierarchy and the local clergy were the Church.   They were placed on pedestals with the expectation that they could solve all problems and do no wrong.   The religious, priests, brothers and religious women (nuns) ran the schools, hospitals, orphanages and every institution that dealt with the lives of French-speaking people in Quebec.   The educational system offered a classical education which meant that the French-speaking students were not introduced into the world of science where progress was exponential and the system also left them without an understanding of the impact of economic development. 

Insights from homelessness: There is much to learn from those who live far from the madding crowd

Par Father John Walsh le 19 octobre 2012

 

homeless.jpgThe majority of people in Montreal, and elsewhere, pass a homeless person on the street and they are unable to go beyond what their eyes see.  The very presence of a homeless person on the same street where people have their daily route to work disturbs some people; others, walk on as if they do not exist.   
The homeless are no different from you and me.  No different.  They laugh, they cry, they feel pain and they are struggling to make sense of their lives.  Each of us hasn’t a story to tell, we have a history to recount.  It begins with birth and ends with death.  History unfolds in one’s upbringing, one’s childhood, youth, adolescence and adulthood.  The road less travelled is that of the homeless people. 

 

After asbestos - Time to support a Royal Commission on toxic threat

Par Beryl Wajsman le 18 septembre 2012

Public policy is not always boring. As much as most voters like the excitement of personality over purpose, there are fleeting moments in the life a nation where we have to pay attention to what has been done, and not just to what has been acted. And when such moments occur, it is our responsibility as citizens to push forward the agenda of human progress. If we fail, at those moments, to engage in the life of our nation we compromise our responsibilities  as citizens of freedom and prejudice our rights to complain.
One such moment occurred last week in the life of this nation.

No mandate! PQ must govern for all Quebecers - now let's all get more involved in this society

Par Beryl Wajsman le 6 septembre 2012

One thing is clear from the narrow election result - it gave the PQ no mandate for any of its radical agenda. It is to be hoped that we can take Pauline Marois at her word and that she not only respects, but uderstands the will of the people.

Two-thirds of Quebecers - anglophones, allophones and francophones - voted for the federalist, free-market alternatives. Mme. Marois must take that into account and we all must hold her accountable.

 


Editorial Staff

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