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Alberta Politics: Right-wing newspaper owners want your taxes to subsidize their obsolete, mismanaged, biased publications

PHOTOS: A typical daily newspaper press, once a common sight in small cities and larger towns throughout North America. This one was photographed through a window Tuesday in Brigadoon, Alberta, so it should be good as is for another 10 years. Oh, wait, I made it out of town this afternoon … it must’ve been . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Right-wing newspaper owners want your taxes to subsidize their obsolete, mismanaged, biased publications

Alberta Politics: Wildrose leader’s public spat with the mayor of Montreal may not help, but it’s likely to continue

PHOTOS: Wildrose Opposition leader Brian Jean has been giving Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre the sink-eye again lately. Below: Mr. Coderre, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Don’t expect Alberta Opposition Leader Brian Jean’s pub… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Wildrose leader’s public spat with the mayor of Montreal may not help, but it’s likely to continue

Scott's DiaTribes: I have faith in Quebec voters….

… to recognize the dog-whistles coming out of the PQ for what they are.. and not allow wedge politics and narrow-mindedness to rule the day. The PQ has fallen into out and out panic mode, accusing the Liberal leader Couillard of more or less abandoning Quebecois, merely because he supports bilingualism.. and I don’t need . . . → Read More: Scott’s DiaTribes: I have faith in Quebec voters….

Alberta Diary: Good advice for Alberta New Democrats from Quebec: this time, make it easy for voters to support you

Ray Guardia, one of the key architects of the federal NDP’s 2011 breakthrough in Quebec, at yesterday’s closing session of the Broadbent Institute’s 2014 Progress Summit in Ottawa. Below: Environmental activist Tzeporah Berman.

OTTAWA

Here’s a tip for Alberta New Democrats from one of the principal architects of Jack Layton’s historic 2011 Quebec . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Good advice for Alberta New Democrats from Quebec: this time, make it easy for voters to support you

Canadian Soapbox: Les raisons pourquoi un anglophone va voter pour le PQ

J’habite à Québec pour une bonne boute, mais j’ai jamais essayer d’écrire en français…donc svp excusez me plusieurs fautes pendant que j’explique les raisons pourquoi un “tête carré”  va voter pour les pésquistes.
La première chose à confronter c’est la question d’un referendum. Philippe Couillard joue la politique de peur en disant que la journée suite à une victoire pour le PQ Pauline Marois va commençer de préparer pour un 3e referendum.  Je ne le crois pas.  
Peut-etre une journée il y aura un autre vote sur la separation, mais pas cette année et même pas l’année prochaine.   Jamais? Moi, je ne sais pas…si ça arrive ça arrive.  Le Québec, c’est une societée democratique, et si les citoyen(ne)s décide qu’ils veut un 3e referendum dans les années qui viennent, ça c’est leur doit.
Juste pour soit cent pour cent clair, si il y aura un referendum demain, je voterai non.
Donc, pourquoi voter PQ?
Parce que j’aime tellement la langue et la culture française-québecoise et de mon avis, ce n’est que le PQ qui va le protéger et le promouvoir.  Est-ce qu’il y a un bésoin?  Quant à moi, oui.  Le centre commercial de Québec c’est Montréal, et il est arrivée à moi de trouver des gens qui parle pas français dans les coffee shops et les dépaneurs.  Récenement je suis allée dans un dep à Montréal et j’ai demandé.  “Vendez vous les timbres”.  La reponse?  “Sorry, I don’t speak French”.
Comment ça?  Dans la ville de Montréal, à Québec en osti!!!  C’est pas grave pour moi, un anglophone….mais imaginez un(e) Québecois(e) unilangue, dans un commerce de sa propre nation….pas capable d’avoir la service dans sa/son propre langue….la seul langue officiel de Québec.
Il y a d’autres raisons aussi.  Moi, je suis pas un idéologue.  Je suis pas gauchiste, ni sur le doit.  Et je trouve que le gouvernement PQ récent, ils essayent de faire le ménage sur les finances publique. Ce n’est pas un job façile car il n’y jamais assez de l’argent pour tous les bésoins.  Les commissions scolaires font des plaintes sur les coupures, mais c’est les choses ce qu’il faut faire pour nettoyer le portefeuille publique.  
Meme avec l’exploration pour l’huile sure l’ile Anticosti.  Est que ca va marcher?  Je ne sais pas, mais c’est pas un billet de lotto, comme disait M. Couillard, c’est un investisement…et avec des investisements il y des risques.
Quant aux plusieurs sondages M. Couillard serai le prochain PM de Québec, mais moi….je crois de moins en moins dans les sondages.
On va voir.  

. . . → Read More: Canadian Soapbox: Les raisons pourquoi un anglophone va voter pour le PQ

Canadian Soapbox: Les raisons pourquoi un anglophone va voter pour le PQ

J’habite à Québec pour une bonne boute, mais j’ai jamais essayer d’écrire en français…donc svp excusez me plusieurs fautes pendant que j’explique les raisons pourquoi un “tête carré”  va voter pour les pésquistes. La première chose à confronter c’est la question d’un referendum. Philippe Couillard joue la politique de peur en disant que la journée . . . → Read More: Canadian Soapbox: Les raisons pourquoi un anglophone va voter pour le PQ

Alberta Diary: PKP to run for PQ: Why PKP, with SNN and CPC PMO spell SOS for Canada, which could be FUBAR

Impressionable English Canadian youngsters tune in to SNN for sinister ideological conditioning by RWN (right-wing nuts) on the staff of the PMO-favoured network. Below: PKP and his now-ex wife (NXW), grabbed from the Internet; SNN broadcaster Ezra Levant.

Oh, H-E-double-hockey-sticks, PKP wants another D-I-V-O-R-C-E!

This time, having just given his common-law wife of . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: PKP to run for PQ: Why PKP, with SNN and CPC PMO spell SOS for Canada, which could be FUBAR

the disgruntled democrat: Three Reasons Why This Anglo Is Thinking About Leaving Quebec: Breach of Trust, Loss of Confidence, Demographics

Truth be told, I have lived in Quebec for the last twenty years.  Last week, not much of a surprise, a poll revealed that about 50% of the anglophone and allophone respondents were thinking about moving out of Quebec.  Too bad I wasn’t contacted.  I would have loved to explain why.  So here goes.

For . . . → Read More: the disgruntled democrat: Three Reasons Why This Anglo Is Thinking About Leaving Quebec: Breach of Trust, Loss of Confidence, Demographics

Canadian Soapbox: Does tolerating intolerance make one tolerant? Québec’s secular charter

Québec’s secular or ‘values’ charter is quite the paradox.  Those who are opposed to it accuse proponents of being xenophobic and intolerant.  Supporters of the charter consider detractors to be supporters of intolerance.  So who are the intolerant ones, the supporters of the charter or its detractors?
While the legislation is aimed at banning many different religious symbols from being worn in certain public spaces, the flashpoint for discussion is the various forms of head and/or full body coverings worn by some Muslim women.  
Québec society is very secular in nature.  I go to church here on a semi regular basis, a Roman Catholic church, and my wife and I are always among the youngest attendees.  The congregations are dominated by elderly parishioners, if I had to guess I’d put the average at somewhere between 70 and 80 years of age.  
Why have so many Québecers turned their backs on a church that at one time was such a huge part of their identity?  One of the reasons is Rome’s treatment of women.  Women here were the last Canadians to be given the right to vote in provincial elections.  It wasn’t until 1944 that Québec women could vote for their provincial MNAs.  
A big opponent to the cause of suffrage was the Roman Catholic Church. Then Québec cardinal Rodrigue Villeneuve objected to women voting based on the perceived authority structure of the family, that is to say MEN ARE IN CHARGE.
The government of that day opted to be intolerant of Roman Catholicism’s intolerance when it came to equality of the sexes, and it was obviously the right choice.
In that light it should not be surprising that many Québecers support the charter.  They see it as a continuation of the feminist movement and a fight for the equality between women and men.

And frankly I have to say I agree.

Even Québec Liberal MNA Fatima Houda-Pépin, the only Muslim woman in the National Assembly, supports at least some aspects of the charter.  Actually that should be former Liberal MNA, as her opposition to her party’s negative stance on the charter has forced her to leave the party and sit as an independent.
Now I’m not suggesting that there isn’t a red neck element who support the charter for reasons more xenophobic….yes, there are plenty of those.  But sometimes even small and wrong minded people can be in favour of positive change, even if its for the wrong reasons.  

. . . → Read More: Canadian Soapbox: Does tolerating intolerance make one tolerant? Québec’s secular charter

Canadian Soapbox: Does tolerating intolerance make one tolerant? Québec’s secular charter

Québec’s secular or ‘values’ charter is quite the paradox.  Those who are opposed to it accuse proponents of being xenophobic and intolerant.  Supporters of the charter consider detractors to be supporters of intolerance.  So who are the intolerant ones, the supporters of the charter or its detractors? While the legislation is aimed at banning many . . . → Read More: Canadian Soapbox: Does tolerating intolerance make one tolerant? Québec’s secular charter

Calgary Grit: 2014: Year in Preview

We don’t know what will make headlines in 2014. After all, most political predictions are about as accurate as a Forum poll.

So I won’t try to guess how 2014 plays out, but here are a few things we can reasonably expect to see this year:

With the new electoral map coming into force, all . . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: 2014: Year in Preview

Canadian Soapbox: Québec’s values charter, starting to win me over

Like anyone I can be prone to knee jerk reactions, its normal. When Québec proposed values charter was first put forth I was opposed.  I cheered when I saw an Ontario ad seeking to attract employees of the Islamic faith to Lakeridge health centre in Oshawa with the tag line:  
“We don’t care about what’s on your head, but with what’s in your head”…or words very close to that effect.
The charter struck me as xenophobic and intolerant.  My view however is changing.
Religious extremists are anything but tolerant.  Men who insist their wives cover their faces, and in some cases their entire bodies, are not viewed as models of inclusion and open mindedness…quite the contrary. Religious extremists of any faith seek to subjugate anyone who doesn’t adhere to their interpretation of the almighty’s will.  
I still can foresee a myriad of problems with enforcing such a charter, but the debate it has created is very much worth while.  Bravo to my home province and to the Parti Québecois for having the cajones to put something like this out there for public discourse.  Other parts of Canada I think would be too timid for fear of offending.
Debate is a positive thing, and only cowards run from controversy.  
For those who can read French here’s an excellent article from LaPresse, wondering what is the opinion of Liberal MNA Fatima Houda-Pépin, the only Muslim member of the Québec National Assembly.  Unfortunately while she has spoken out against extremism in the past, on the charter she is silent.

On aimerait vous entendre, Fatima Houda-Pépin

. . . → Read More: Canadian Soapbox: Québec’s values charter, starting to win me over

Canadian Soapbox: Québec’s values charter, starting to win me over

Like anyone I can be prone to knee jerk reactions, its normal. When Québec proposed values charter was first put forth I was opposed.  I cheered when I saw an Ontario ad seeking to attract employees of the Islamic faith to Lakeridge health centre in Oshawa with the tag line:   “We don’t care . . . → Read More: Canadian Soapbox: Québec’s values charter, starting to win me over

Calgary Grit: Charter Polling Misses Mark

For those hoping Quebecers would abandon Marois over her utterly repugnant charter, this is an encouraging headline:

Quebec Liberals jump to 7% lead over PQ as backlash grows over values charter

A recent boost in support for the Quebec Liberals means the party could secure a “hair thin” majority in the province if an election . . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: Charter Polling Misses Mark

Calgary Grit: Chopping Bloc

The good news for the Bloc is that there’s now a bit more elbow room in the back of the caucus car:

Maria Mourani, Member of Parliament for the federal riding of Ahuntsic, has been kicked out of the Bloc Quebecois caucus over her opposition to the controversial “charter of values” proposed by the Quebec . . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: Chopping Bloc

Politics and its Discontents: More On Quebec’s Purity Charter

If the above interests you, you may wish to take a few minutes to check out Haroon Siddiqui’s column in today’s Star. Entitled Pauline Marois issues fatwa on Quebec secularism, his thesis can be summed up in his final paragraph:

Marois is engaged in an ugly cultural warfare of the rightwing Republican kind. She . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: More On Quebec’s Purity Charter

Politics and its Discontents: Quebec’s Purity Values Charter

The following is reported in today’s Vancouver Sun about Quebec’s impending purity values charter:

The Quebec government has released plans for a “values charter” that would impose unique-in-North America restrictions on religious clothing for employees at all government institutions starting with schools, hospitals and courts.

If adopted by the legislature, the plan would apply to . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Quebec’s Purity Values Charter

Calgary Grit: Nos Valeurs

It’s unclear if Habs jerseys count as religious symbols or not.

This is going to be a hot topic for the foreseable future in Quebec, and since hot topics in Quebec have a way of becoming hot topics outside Quebec, expect to hear a lot about the PQ’s “Values Charter”. Even Calgary Mayor . . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: Nos Valeurs

Politics and its Discontents: My Second Surprise Today

Earlier today., I posted a brief piece on how, despite my reservations about Justin Trudeau’s leadership capacity, I found his openness and honesty refreshing when it came to pot.

The second surprise I got today was the fact that he spoke quite candidly about his opposition to Quebec’s proposed ban on religious symbols and . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: My Second Surprise Today

Calgary Grit: Poutinesque

With their raison-d’etre of separatism neutralized, one would have hoped the PQ would set to work trying to turn around Quebec’s economy. Instead…this:

Quebec is heading into another fierce debate over the future of religious freedom in the province with the Parti Québécois government set to release a Charter of Quebec Values that could ban . . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: Poutinesque

Musings on Canadian Politics: The Quebec Soccer Federation deserves condemnation

In the wake of the Quebec Soccer Federation’s banning of “turbans” on the playing field, FIFA has announced “turbans” can be worn on the field of play. FIFA issued a news release yesterday saying the Canadian Soccer Association should “allow male players in Canada to wear head covers.”

Of course, this wasn’t an issue . . . → Read More: Musings on Canadian Politics: The Quebec Soccer Federation deserves condemnation

Musings on Canadian Politics: Quebec at forefront of right-to-die movement

The Quebec National Assembly introduced a bill on Wednesday that will allow health professionals to use medical procedures to end the lives of patients near death who are suffering and want to end their lives.

The legislation “is intended for people at the end of their life to die with autonomy and dignity,” said Veronique . . . → Read More: Musings on Canadian Politics: Quebec at forefront of right-to-die movement

Musings on Canadian Politics: Soccer, Sikhs and multiculturalism in Quebec

Quebec’s Soccer Federation is going into hiding. The names and contact information of its board of directors have been pulled from the federation’s website. They’re refusing to talk to the media. Are they being accused of embezzlement? Did they steal children’s money? No, they’re refusing to allow Sikh kids to wear “turbans” during competitive matches. . . . → Read More: Musings on Canadian Politics: Soccer, Sikhs and multiculturalism in Quebec

The Ranting Canadian: Young woman arrested for posting photo of graffitti online

Young woman arrested for posting photo of graffitti online:

According to CBC News:

A 20-year-old woman has been accused of criminal harassment and intimidation against a high-ranking Montreal police officer after she posted a photo of anti-police graffiti online.

Pawluck insists that she’s done nothing wrong and the actions of the Montreal police amount . . . → Read More: The Ranting Canadian: Young woman arrested for posting photo of graffitti online

Canadian Soapbox: One Anglo-Quebecer’s take on the language debate

The anglophone community has deep roots in Quebec, I however do not.  
I moved to Quebec back in October of 2011, so that’s less than two years that I have been residing here in the provincial capital of Quebec City.  When it comes to opinions on Quebec’s never ending language debate the views of anglophones are as varied as the community itself.
This is mine.
A bit on my frame of reference.  Prior to moving here I had already attained a fair degree of fluency in the French language.  I studied French throughout high school and into university, and I spent six weeks the summer I turned eighteen on New Brunswick’s Acadian Penninsula taking a French Immersion course.
My facility in the language was  sufficient enough for me to find employment in customer service, sales and account management positions in the Toronto area.   I never, and still have not, attained what I consider perfect fluency, but I do consider myself more than functionally bilingual.
Suffice to say I place a high degree of value on bilingualism and have more than a bit of sympathy for those who strive to protect and promote the French language in Quebec.   I embraced the opportunity to move here, and I love living in Quebec.
The two issues dominating discussion of late are limiting access to English schools for Quebec students and the  removal of bilingual status from some municipalities.
It goes without saying that Quebec is a French island surrounded by an ocean of the English language.  If the French language is to survive and thrive in this environment, then barriers need to be constructed to protect it from being flooded.  The damn protecting la langue française is already showing major cracks on the island of Montreal.  A French speaking Quebecer can go into a west island convenience store and find they have to speak English at the counter.
The debate comes down to individual rights versus that of a society as a whole.
Quebecers have elected a government which places a high priority on protecting and promoting the use of French and is proposing legislation which reflects the direction in which they wish to take the society.
In terms of education, those parents whose kids are denied access to an English public school can still enroll their children in a private school that is English.  Some consider that unfair, and argue that they’re being denied a fundamental right.  But does the overall society not have a fundamental right to defend itself from being assimilated?
Its a difficult question for sure.  The same issues apply to municipal governments losing their bilingual status which would result in the loss of English language services.
Our federal government  protects the entertainment industry with content rules that prevent our marketplace from being overrun with programming and music from the United States on our public airwaves.  Quebec is acting in similar fashion, but here it goes beyond programming and extends further in an effort to protect the language.
If the French language is to survive here, I would argue that it is needed.
Now for those who might point to the tenuous minority status of Quebec’s  PQ government and the mere thirtyish percent of the popular vote they garnered, I would suggest a closer look at the numbers.  In addition to the Parti Québecois there are two other nationalist parties here, and combined with the PQ they garnered in the neighborhood of forty percent of the vote.  No where close to a majority certainly, but still significant.
Given the minority situation Quebecers will likely have a chance to pass judgement on Mme Marois’ governance and initiatives sooner rather than later, that’s democracy.  At that point it will come down to a decision about which direction Quebecers want this province to take, and on how much of a priority protecting the French language represents.

. . . → Read More: Canadian Soapbox: One Anglo-Quebecer’s take on the language debate