30 May 2013

National Post: PQ power gives rise to ‘Angryphone’ lunacy | Full Comment

PQ power gives rise to ‘Angryphone’ lunacy | Full Comment | National Post

Quebec soaks Canada for $20 billion a year

Psst! Don’t tell the Rest of Canada . . . | Montreal Gazette

. . but they’re subsidizing us Quebecers to the tune of (gulp) $19 billion a year.
At least that’s the estimate obtained by financial columnist Michel Girard of Le Journal de Montréal.
The source of the estimate? This province’s own Institut de la statistique du Québec.
The estimate, Girard wrote on Friday in a column titled Sovereignty in the Red, shows that Ottawa collected about $42.5 billion in revenue from Quebec in 2011, but spent $61.6 billion for this province.
At the time of the 1995 sovereignty referendum, there was a widespread belief among Quebecers that their province was a “cash cow” for the RoC.
Some cash cow.

28 May 2013

Quebec, tolerance and the crucifix - The Globe and Mail

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/editorials/quebec-tolerance-and-the-crucifix/article12205442/

As the Quebec Court of Appeal said in the Saguenay case, in which a Quebec resident, Alain Simoneau, objected to a non-sectarian, 20-second prayer and the religious symbols, the “difficult and delicate question” of the state’s neutrality doesn’t require “that society be cleansed of all denominational reality, including that which falls within its cultural history.” The symbols, displayed for decades at Saguenay City Hall, are seen by most people as historical artifacts, the three judges on the appeal-court panel said.

The protection of these symbols should be seen as promoting tolerance and accommodation of religious minorities such as Jews, Muslims and Sikhs. Each community has been involved in flashpoints. The National Assembly barred four men wearing kirpans from hearings on accommodation. The previous Liberal government passed a law limiting the right of Muslim women to wear face veils while obtaining government services.
Quebec shouldn’t try to have it both ways. If the province has a right to exclusively Christian religious symbols in government buildings because, in essence, it has always been thus, Quebec shouldn’t deny to non-Christians the right to wear religious garb or symbols in those buildings. Complete “neutrality” does not exist in Quebec or the broader Canadian context – the very first line of the Canadian Charter of Rights invokes “the supremacy of God.” Like God and the crucifix, accommodation has a long cultural history in Quebec and the rest of Canada.

27 May 2013

Opinion: Religious accommodation survey promoted intolerance

Opinion: Religious accommodation survey promoted intolerance

MONTREAL — Is the Marois government moving toward requiring that a teacher of the Jewish faith in a Jewish private school remove his kippa?
That might sound preposterous. But a survey last March commissioned by the Quebec Ministry of Democratic Institutions and Active Citizenship (as it is called) asked Quebecers the following question: “If the Government of Quebec decides to prohibit wearing religious attire would you agree or disagree that such a measure be applied to employees of private elementary and secondary schools?”
In preparation for this fall’s tabling by the government of what it is now calling a Charter of Quebec Values (a reworking of the original plan for a Secularism Charter), the survey also asked whether a similar ban on religious signs and symbols should be extended to health institutions — and more specifically to doctors and nurses.

Opinion: Quebec’s secular tradition, unlike the PQ’s version, is open and inclusive

Opinion: Quebec’s secular tradition, unlike the PQ’s version, is open and inclusive

Pauline Marois’s government is committed to tabling a secularism charter. But in the secularism espoused by Marois and the Parti Québécois, Catholicism plays an important role — not as a living faith, but as a strange religious/political hybrid, part of Quebec’s “heritage” that can be invoked to fend off forms of religious expression deemed to be alien to “Quebec values” and national identity. In this provincial vision of the secular, a crucifix can be displayed in the National Assembly as a treasured relic of our national patrimony, but other religious symbols are deemed unreasonable intrusions into the public sphere.
But this brand of secularism is not the only game in town.
In fact, Canada’s celebrated liberal heritage is profoundly indebted to traditions of political thought, public service and statesmanship that were nurtured in Quebec Catholic culture. From the beginning, the concern for religious- and cultural-minority rights surfaced as one of the key characteristics in the struggles of the French Catholic minority with British colonial power. The experience of Catholic-minority status gave birth to a form of small-l liberalism marked by a deep respect for the rights of religious and cultural minorities.

22 May 2013

Poll: Quebecers want strict guidelines on religious accommodation | CTV Montreal News

Poll: Quebecers want strict guidelines on religious accommodation | CTV Montreal News

The Parti Quebecois plans to introduce a charter to enshrine Quebec values after a recent poll suggests there is public support for stricter guidelines on religious accommodation.

The poll, which it commissioned from Leger Marketing, showed the majority of Quebecers think the debate over reasonable accommodation is as important or more important today than it was six years ago.

Francophones are far more concerned about this than are non-francophones, with up to 76 per cent of francophones saying religious accommodations should be enshrined in law -- a viewpoint held by 51 per cent on non-francophones.


18 May 2013

Macpherson: A major omission and half-truths in piece by Lisée

Macpherson: A major omission and half-truths in piece by Lisée

But now, the article said, we must accept cuts in services in English to the sick and elderly to help “sustain the critical mass of the French-speaking majority, especially in Montreal,”
What Lisée meant by that, as he has made clear in the past, is that there aren’t enough people speaking French in the privacy of their own homes.
But not even Lisée had the nerve to come out and ask anglos in The Gazette to “empathize” with the PQ’s opinion that there are too many of us.



15 May 2013

NDP across Canada must be mourning stunning B.C. election loss: Hébert | Toronto Star

NDP across Canada must be mourning stunning B.C. election loss: Hébert | Toronto Star

Mulcair already has to juggle a double challenge in Quebec where both Justin Trudeau and his reinvigorated Liberals and the Bloc Québécois have to be kept at bay. Mulcair’s effort to bind nationalist voters to the NDP in his home province have so far come at cost to his credibility elsewhere in Canada.

10 May 2013

William Johnson: Quebec, land of myth

Quebec, land of myth | Full Comment | National Post

Quebec’s literature has taken up the theme of its historiography: It displays Anglophobia as its most central theme, as I demonstrated in my 1991 book, published in French, Anglophobie made in Québec. Many of the authors who are considered provincial greats, such as Gaston Miron, Jacques Ferron, Hubert Aquin and Yves Beauchemin, are also the most ardently Anglophobic. 

The fact is that France itself was a colonizer — and it kept New France in a state of extreme under-development. No industry was allowed to start up that competed with that industry in France. So, as contemporary observers agreed, New France remained poor while New England grew rich. This, not any Anglo plot, generated the legacy of economic and cultural under-development that retarded French Canadians until the Quiet Revolution.

A new royal commission is needed to demystify Quebec’s founding Anglophobic myth, to shine the light of reason and scientific scrutiny on the dark beliefs that poison the historic consciousness of Quebec’s youths, their teachers and most prominent authors.