It's the next logical step in second-language immersion.Call it Ultimate Immersion. Or Immersion 2.0. Not just anglophones studying in French, but anglophones and francophones studying together in the same class. It exists in Quebec, despite Bill 101. This new immersion is part of a three-year pilot project in desegregated education in Quebec, known as Option Études.
It works like this: You recruit kids out of Grade 6. You go into English public schools, and into French public schools. You select kids with good social skills, and you put them together in the same class starting in Grade 7. From there, they go on to spend half their year in an English high school, and the other half in a French high school. This is the way it has been working in Châteauguay since the fall of 2007, when the first mixed class of 32 kids was created.
Not that we should expect school desegregation to become the norm in Quebec. Separate French and English school systems still reflect the majority will of both language communities in this province, and no other Option Études programs are under way ...
31 October 2011
29 October 2011
In 1972, then-premier Robert Bourassa called a public inquiry into organized crime in Quebec, in part because of concerns raised at the time over the involvement of members of the Cotroni Mafia family in the provincial Liberal leadership campaign of Pierre Laporte, who was later murdered by the FLQ.
Police eventually discovered, and La Presse reported, that [Alfonso Gagliano]'s bookkeeping business handled accounts for Cuntrera's businesses while Gagliano was an MP.
28 October 2011
27 October 2011
anglo-basher (critics of megacities are anglo colonialists), ignoring Franco anti-mergerites
opportunist (took over established party without a leadership debate); but will be "coronated" later
borough powers are regulated by the province, not the city (as she wishes)
architect of the megacity by fiat, not referendum; refused consultation on the issue; her party (PQ) had not run on the issue, even disavowed it
set up commission to study megacity proposal; when it recommended against it, she ignored it
Her good examples:
* Boston: in reality, that area had many more munis than MTL
* Europe (34 countries had passed laws against forced mergers)
* Toronto (costs had risen, not fallen)
* would curb urban sprawl (has not)
* would redistribute wealth (was not the best way to do so)
supports super-majority requirements to leave the megacity (but leaving Canada requires a simple majority)
a centralist, says the boroughs are too powerful ["quasi-villes"]
a unilingualist in a cosmopolitan city
an "evil sovereignist" (selon Fagstein)
Occasionally a strange idea takes hold and gets political support. For example in 1985 the PQ passed Bill 29 which banned Jews and Muslims and other non-Protestants from voting in PSBGM board elections. Similarly only Catholics were to be allowed to vote in Catholic School Board elections. Those boards are history, of course, as the boards are based on language now.
26 October 2011
25 October 2011
OTTAWA – Some of Canada's largest corporations may be using the government as a high-yield investment account by deliberately overpaying on their annual tax returns to collect favourable interest rates, the federal auditor general says.
In each of the last three years, top businesses have realized a $30 million windfall by paying a total of $4 billion into accounts managed by the Canada Revenue Agency that cover them in the event their tax returns are reassessed.
The accounts have paid an interest rate of from 5 to 7 per cent since 2006. The rate is considerably more favourable than that offered by banks. Auditor General Sheila Fraser said it appears corporations were well aware of the favourable treatment they were getting with their federal accounts, though it is difficult to prove any company has set out to bilk taxpayers ...
24 October 2011
The law is clear. It stipulates that in Canada, everyone has the right to a hearing before the top court in either official language.
The joke is that it doesn’t say that the person who is heard has to be understood by the judges.
There’s one unilingual judge on the Supreme Court right now, Justice Marshall Rothstein. He still hasn’t learned French as he promised to do when he took the job. That causes a bind for his fellow judges when they get together to discuss cases.
One unilingual judge on the bench is enough. That’s why the Barreau du Québec is opposing Moldaver’s appointment.
The matter gets chewed over in this province now and then, but typically nothing gets done; the PQ has parked it among things to be done after independence is achieved ...
Duff Conacher, of the advocacy group Democracy Watch, notes that surveys show that only half of voters have a problem with the current voting system and that a greater turnoff for voters is the level of mendacity, unaccountability and tolerance of corruption in politics today.
23 October 2011
I was suspicious of Alliance Quebec at the founding. I saw it as the move of a traditional anglo elite trying to preserve its power and influence among anglos. These were simply not my people. I grew up working class with a distaste for the sort of people who dominated at the founding of AQ, and did not believe they really gave a damn about our interests. That's why at the time, I did several broadcasts for CBC in which I was highly critical of it.
I came to accept the necessity of it, though never happy with it, as I realized these were the only people with the connections and experience to set up an organization. I also came to realize that the majority of anglos simply were not going to support a more radical programme. And, while I could understand and sympathize with their rage, I could never support the Bill Johnsons because I realized they were hopelessly naive and, while they certainly understood the problem in pretty much the same way I understood it, did not understand the anglo community at all.
One side featured too many compromisers, the other too many screamers and thrashers.
The only group to gain was the rising leadership of the Jewish community. Into the 1970s, the anglo elite would barely give them a nod as sometimes useful lackeys. But the rapid decline of anglo elite power forced them to admit some Jews into the charmed circle.