Updates from September, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 10:56 on 2019-09-29 Permalink | Reply  

    The Centre d’histoire looks this week at the origins of Saint-Luc Hospital and some of the features it pioneered here.

    The Gazette looked back to some interesting items including the final edition of the Montreal Star in 1979 and Mordecai Richler, just after publishing his incendiary article about Quebec in the New Yorker in 1991.

    Radio-Canada also looked back at the end of the Star.

    • CE 15:12 on 2019-09-29 Permalink

      I help my friend sell junk that he finds in the garbage (his blog, http://www.garbagefinds.com is worth checking out) and old copies of the last edition of the Star are a dime a dozen. It seems every Anglo in the city bought a couple and put it in the basement to be eventually thrown out by their kids. It was probably the paper’s best day for circulation!

    • Michael Black 18:27 on 2019-09-29 Permalink

      I remember someone being on the radio talking about collectibles. And he said the most obvious things aren’t worth much, precisely because people keep them. So the last Montreal Star would be fairly common, but few would have thought to keep the second to last edition. It makes sense. It’s no different from any time people decide something is valuable, like Beanie Babies or comic books. But the things that nobody kept of course is what people want.


    • Blork 19:17 on 2019-09-29 Permalink

      Following up on Michael Black’s comment, I recently read about someone needing to find a paper copy of the New York Times from September 11, 2001. Couldn’t find it anywhere. September 12 papers were all over the place, but nobody kept September 11 because the paper had already been printed before the attacks happened, so it was unremarkable.

    • CE 08:55 on 2019-10-01 Permalink

      My friend and I have talked about this quite a bit. It’s not unusual to find hoards of things marketed as “collectibles” (Beanie Babies, sports cards, event memorabilia, commemorative coins) usually from the 90s. People were told they would only increase in value in the future but are now pretty much worthless. My neighbour thought she was going to put her kids through university with her Beanie Baby and VHS collection. I think the internet and eBay spurred it on. People were selling ordinary but rare things for lots of money in auctions that suddenly, everyone could see so people thought that other ordinary things would be worth lots of money in the future (which obviously didn’t happen).

  • Kate 09:48 on 2019-09-29 Permalink | Reply  

    Two to three hundred people came out to protest Bill 21 the Loi sur la laïcité de l’État Saturday.

    We have to accept the bill Loi sur la laïcité de l’État as law, and recognize that this kind of identitarian politics is part of Quebec culture until the zeigeist enters another shift. Sad stories about teachers who need to move away to keep wearing religious head coverings are only fuel to the fire: to the people for whom the law was passed, they’re simply evidence of its effectiveness. Make those strange people go away or disappear, either way, it works.

    I wish I had taken note where I saw the idea expressed, this week, that when poiticians attempt to allay xenophobia it only makes it worse.

    • Chris 11:22 on 2019-09-29 Permalink

      “We have to accept the bill as law” -> In that case, why do you keep calling it Bill 21 instead of Law 21?

    • Kate 12:13 on 2019-09-29 Permalink

      It has been a convention in Quebec to refer to major laws under the bill number they were launched under, e.g. Bill 101. But since you insist, I will re-edit.

    • Chris 13:03 on 2019-09-29 Permalink

      I wasn’t insisting! 🙂 It’s just your first link has a big picture of a “Loi 21” button, so I was just wondering.

    • Meezly 09:42 on 2019-09-30 Permalink

      Must we accept the bill as law? And who’s we? Easy for me whose wardrobe is predominantly athleisure-wear. What if the laws we must abide by are unethical and feels downright wrong?

    • Kate 12:25 on 2019-09-30 Permalink

      Meezly, I don’t like it either, but a large majority in Quebec support that law. This is the culture we are living in. This is Quebec in our time.

      Anglo media kicked against the Charter of the French language for years, and sometimes still do. But the majority supported it and it’s now felt to be a solid building block of modern Quebec. Living here means accepting it. I can’t tell you now whether in 10 to 20 years feeling will have turned against the secularity law, as we did against the Duplessis padlock law for example, or whether it too will be seen as an important, historic piece of legislation.

      But for now, it is an expression of the will of the people.

    • Kevin 11:08 on 2019-09-30 Permalink

      Anglo culture frequently refers to all laws as Bill XX. 22, 101, 21. It’s just what we do.

      Meanwhile Quebec’s commentariat continues to lament the decreasing political influence and shrinking demographics of this province https://www.lapresse.ca/actualites/201909/17/01-5241713-demographie-le-quebec-poursuit-son-declin.php

    • Meezly 16:08 on 2019-09-30 Permalink

      I see what you mean, Kate. It’s just the word ‘accept’ kind of disturbs me, as I kind of equate it to the bystander effect. Wouldn’t it have been the will of the majority in the American South to maintain segregation laws if they could?

      I feel there are more Quebecers than we think who also do not like this law but are merely shrugging their shoulders saying, eh what can we do? I just hope that Quebec does not go the way of the latter years of the Weimar Republic, is all.

      And if I were a school principal, would I accept this law by telling a teacher to remove her head covering, even firing her if necessary? Or would I challenge this law by disobeying it with the risk of being penalized? Perhaps ‘tolerate’ might be a better word, but I would say that accepting a bad law is just as bad as enforcing it. I just feel with the way things are going these days, we must challenge bad laws in any way we can, however miniscule the action.

    • Kate 20:44 on 2019-09-30 Permalink

      Meezly, various school boards initially announced they’d flout the law, but when school started and push came to shove, they all obeyed it. They had no other choice. The boards are creatures of the provincial government (not for much longer, apparently) and, in a sense, can’t not do what it says.

      I don’t know what would happen to a school principal who defied the law, but I imagine he or she would not have their job for long. They are there to carry out the will of the board, which is there to carry out the will of the government, which is there to carry out the will of the people. And for now we’re stuck with it.

    • ant6n 01:38 on 2019-10-01 Permalink

      Just because a majority of Quebecers support something, and this something is also law, doesn’t mean I have to accept it. Otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered going to the climate march the other day.

    • Chris 08:36 on 2019-10-01 Permalink

      “What if the laws we must abide by are unethical and feels downright wrong?” -> there are entire books on that subject. And there are lots of laws other than 21 that many people feel are wrong. Shall everyone just pick their own laws to follow or not?

    • Meezly 09:08 on 2019-10-01 Permalink

      Yes, there are books about this subject that go as far back as the days of Socrates, and even he felt that disobedience to bad laws can sometimes jolt democratic processes into motion. And there are not many laws that go against the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the civil liberties of people, and the ones that do tend to get challenged.

    • Chris 09:17 on 2019-10-01 Permalink

      The Notwithstanding Clause is *part* of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, so Laws 21 and 101 by definition do not “go against” the Charter.

    • SMD 09:34 on 2019-10-01 Permalink

      It goes against the Quebec Charter of Rights and Freedoms, or at least it did until the government amended it to add “State laicity” as a “fundamental importance” for which “a person shall maintain a proper regard.” So I guess we can just abrogate minority rights when the majority is feeling threatened. Cool cool. This is fine.

    • Meezly 09:39 on 2019-10-01 Permalink

      ok Chris, you got me. I can now rest easy and accept this law like a good law-abiding citizen. I just don’t know why civil liberties organizations are getting themselves all worked up then.

    • Chris 09:40 on 2019-10-01 Permalink

      SMD, don’t confuse my statements with endorsement, I’m just saying the Charter is what it is, not what you want it to be.

    • Ant6n 19:10 on 2019-10-01 Permalink

      I think there are ways to “not accept” laws other than disobeying them (civil disobedience).
      One can also protest the law, go demonstrating, form an organization, bitch about it on social media etc.

  • Kate 08:58 on 2019-09-29 Permalink | Reply  

    The totem pole outside the Museum of Fine Arts has been vandalized, the left arm of one of the lower figures having been broken off and stolen. The museum is hoping it will be returned.

    • Max 09:24 on 2019-09-29 Permalink

      I’m amazed that nobody’s lobbed a beer bottle at the Chihuly piece yet.

  • Kate 08:55 on 2019-09-29 Permalink | Reply  

    Québec solidaire’s Amir Khadir promised to donate his $90K bonus as a departing MNA, and so he has done with gifts to groups around the Plateau.

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