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JuicyLesson #123: The so-called charter of Quebec values

The Quebec Values Charter and Racism in Present-day Quebec

1…2…3… Just you and me, babe.

With the economy heading rapidly for the toilet or already there, the government of the Parti Quebecois and Premier Pauline Marois along with the minister responsible for the charter, Bernard Drainville, seem intent on continuing on with its so-called Chartre des valeurs. Hearings in committee have been going on for two weeks now and the question evolves into one asking whether Marois is using the charter for her own political ends along with those of her party or whether she believes – honestly and truly – that the values charter is a necessary step in the evolution and progress of Quebec society even though there has not been a single report ever demonstrating any need whatsoever for Bill 60 which, among other things, would prohibit the wearing of ostentatious religious symbols – the Sikh turban, the Jewish Kippah, the Moslem hijab, niqab or burkha .. and finally even the cross (if judged to be ostentatious).

Yet Marois and people of her ilk do not seem to be listening to critics, some of them ardent separatists, who firmly believe, and have publicly expressed this belief, that the charter goes too far and is unnecessary at this juncture in history, or ever, as a matter of fact. Drainville and Marois have both intimated and stated – the two of them – that the government is willing to see this fight to its conclusion no matter that a significant proportion of our population does not support the charter. The committee hearings are proving to be no more than a sham. Aislin’s cartoon of Pauline with blinders on is relevant here, providing a right-on summary of what’s going on in the provincial capital these days.

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Why does Marois appear to be so intent on getting a favourable vote on the charter in the National Assembly or does she really mean to delay the Assembly vote on the charter until after the next election when the PQ, if it plays it’s cards correctly, many be able to gain a majority of seats in the Assemble Nationale and would therefore no longer require Liberal or CAQ support to get the bill passed into law, which most unfortunately for them but fortunately for us is not the fact of the matter today. With their minority government represented by a plurality rather than majority of Assembly seats, they need to rustle up votes from the other parties something not likely to happen at present given the rules applied for party line voting on important issues. The Liberals, led by a putrid Philippe Doc (“I heart the woods…and you will learn to heart them as I do”) Couillard, and the CAQ, led by an even more objectionable and dangerous, lying and hypocritical fuckhead have both at present expressed ideas which counter those in the charter and it would be surprising, to say the least, to see it pass in the present minority government situation.

It’s all in the polls, baby, the polls! Support for the charter is increasing among Francophones in Quebec with one recent poll showing forty-eight percent (48%) of the entire province including Anglophones, Francophones, Allophones and Autochtones supporting the charter while forty-six percent (46%) are in opposition to it, with six percent (6%) either saying they don’t know or refusing to reveal their preference.

If the polls continue to improve for the PQ, Marois will likely call an election sometime in March, before the government plans to present its budget in April. The Premier hopes and believes that the charter may be more important to a significant number of Québécois than are health, employment and education, for instance, the three things people talk about but seem to be incapable of doing anything about. (… and this fucking weather makes four).

Anyway, if Marois sees the PQ’s numbers rising, she will call an election the first time the polls tell her that the achievement of majority government status for the PQ is not out of the question, and once she gets a majority, the floodgates are open. Anything’s possible including a mass outflow of people from Quebec to Toronto and elsewhere. Remember that around 175,000 anglophones have left Quebec since the PQ’s first election victory under Levesque in 1976 which was followed by the passage of Bill 101 two years later. The kids of kids that I taught in Montreal are now being schooled in Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Hong Kong, etc., anywhere but right here. The two cataclysmic events (PQ’s being elected in 1976 and the passage of our lovely language law) – cataclysmic as far as the non-radical Francophones and most Anglophones and Allophones view them anyway – basically have irreparably, it appears, damaged our economy. Remember when Montreal and not Toronto was Canada’s first city and head offices were located mostly here and not down the 401 in Toronto? Things all started to fall apart for the “privileged” Anglo community in Montreal then with no sign of any significant upswing in the near future.

So we have a very fucked up situation here which we will continue looking at in tomorrow’s JuicyLesson.

Dig the following: Scandal in the PQ?

“Michel Arsenault, ex- head of Quebec Federation of Labour (FTQ) is expected to re-take the stand on Tuesday morning. As his testimony progresses, he will likely be asked about his relationship with Quebec Premier Pauline Marois and her husband, Claude Blanchet. On a wiretap tape from 2009 that was played at the inquiry* last week, Arsenault referenced “a deal” with Blanchet to prevent an inquiry into Quebec’s construction unions.

He then added: “We’ll talk to Pauline.”

The Montreal Gazette, January 28th, 2014, p. 4.

*Charbonneau Commission into Quebec’s construction industry which is proving to be revealing, and interestingly so. In the back of our minds had been a hazy idea of some of the corruption involved in Quebec and not only in the construction industry, but now we know more and the Inquiry is only about half-way through its mandate.

Please, I’m begging you people, don’t let this get lost in the shuffle. Remember the old adage: where there’s smoke there’s fire. We have been de-stabilized by this ridiculous excuse for a government for long enough. It’s time to fucking fight back. It’s freaking enough. Already.

Pete Seeger, RIP. On television once, he called the 1950’s House Un American Activities Committee aka the infamous HUAC which had recently blacklisted him for joining a Communist organization in the States – he called the members of HUAC a group of ” American Fascists” who want everyone to agree with them. Arguably the founder of the folk singing genre which spawned talents like his son Pete, Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez, and of course, the great and gifted Bob Dylan.

It seems we need a leader – social and otherwise.

Peace out. Really far freaking out, man.

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