Updates from February, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 13:31 on 2020-02-14 Permalink | Reply  

    Sue Montgomery is facing further travails after a formal complaint before the Commission municipale.

    • Kate 13:27 on 2020-02-14 Permalink | Reply  

      A driver ran into a concrete wall near the Atwater Market early Friday so the tunnel is closed. Also the driver has been arrested for being impaired.

      (I learned a new expression here: “concrete jersey”.)

      • Ian 17:30 on 2020-02-14 Permalink

        Still not sure what they mean by cement jersey… is that the outer wall or the divider between lanes, also called a turnpike? In any case I gave never heard that term before either.

      • Danny Greenberg 18:56 on 2020-02-14 Permalink

        What was probably intended (or said and misheard by the reporter) was concrete Jersey barrier. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jersey_barrier

    • Kate 08:56 on 2020-02-14 Permalink | Reply  

      The English Montreal School Board is now seeking Quebec’s approval to access federal money to fight Quebec’s laws. Of course the education minister immediately said no.

      • Kate 08:50 on 2020-02-14 Permalink | Reply  

        The island of Montreal has been showing the fastest population growth in Quebec since 2016, a reverse of an earlier trend.

        • Kate 08:45 on 2020-02-14 Permalink | Reply  

          Alexandra Lorange, who gave UQÀM reason to assume she had indigenous origins, has been sacked from teaching a course on indigenous women’s issues after it came out that her family tree showed no indigenes for 12 generations.

          Twelve generations is a lot, but in Quebec there are genealogical organizations that work on tracing the history of Quebec settler families. The Roman Catholic church also kept good records. If you’ve got French ancestry here, a lot of the genealogical work is already done for you, beyond your grandparents.

          • Punditry 19:41 on 2020-02-14 Permalink

            She pulled an Elizabeth Warren and suffered the consequences. 1/1020

          • Kate 10:07 on 2020-02-15 Permalink

            It’s evident from recent stories that a lot of North Americans grow up with a family tradition that they have some indigenous ancestry, and also that it’s almost always either simply untrue, or unverifiable. I don’t think this is necessarily evil, unless someone uses the premise to preemptively acquire advantages that are meant for indigenous people.

            I might tread on thin ice here by suggesting that it may be problematic to make the right to teach a university course contingent on someone’s ancestry. It is possible that a non-indigene who’s made a sociological study of the problems of indigenous women and girls might be the best person to teach that course. Invite indigenous people in to address the class, certainly, read the writings of indigenous people, but don’t assume someone’s ancestry gives them access to superior knowledge and understanding. We’re edging into a weird gray area if we collectively agree that what you are gives you knowledge that others can’t have.

            Of course if the issue here is that Mme Lorange explicitly told UQÀM she is indigenous when she isn’t, I suppose it’s grounds for dismissal. But in that case, lecturers on some courses may need to prepare family trees or even DNA tests in future. It’s not at all clear in some of these cases that the person was consciously telling an untruth.

          • Dhomas 11:06 on 2020-02-15 Permalink

            I gotta say, I quite agree with Kate. My wife is a teacher. She teaches the “Éthique et culture religieuse” course, among others. She teaches about Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, etc, though she adheres to none of these faiths. She is, however, a _teacher_ so she knows how to do her research on a topic and impart this knowledge to her students.

          • Ian 17:37 on 2020-02-15 Permalink

            @dhomas does she teach about atheism, agnosticism, or secular humanism? We are in a secular society, after all, right? Just kidding, I know those aren’t part of the curriculum for ERC despite the secular posturings of Loi 21… but then again CAQ is planning to get rid of ERC, though I suspect that’s more to stop childen learning about other cultures than any kind of open-mindedness.

            I recently did a genetic test and was surprised to learn that apparently I have “Native American” (as they call it) trace ancestry. Only 0.2% though so I won’t be applying for any teaching positions, political positions, or grants based on my indigenous bona fides any time soon… especially as up to 8 months ago it was assigned as 0.2% Korean.

          • Kate 18:14 on 2020-02-15 Permalink

            Ian, someone told me recently that humanism/atheism/agnosticism was covered in the course. I don’t think it was here on the blog. I have no way to prove it either way.

          • Dhomas 07:25 on 2020-02-16 Permalink

            @Ian @Kate: Indeed, other beliefs are covered as well, including those unrelated to religion (that was part of my “etc” above). From the government documentation on the topic (http://www.education.gouv.qc.ca/enseignants/pfeq/primaire/domaine-du-developpement-de-la-personne/ethique-et-culture-religieuse/):

            “les expressions culturelles et celles issues de représentations du monde et de l’être humain qui
            définissent le sens et la valeur de l’expérience humaine en dehors des croyances et des adhésions
            religieuses sont abordées au cours d’un cycle.”

            In any case, the point of the course is obviously not to learn about every single religion/belief as they would be impossible. It’s to teach that there are other beliefs out there that are not yours which allows students to be more open-minded, in general.

            Besides, I was not trying to debate the ÉCR course (which, btw, I disagree with the CAQ abolishing). It was to make a point that teachers should teach, regardless of their background.

          • Chris 12:27 on 2020-02-16 Permalink

            >I might tread on thin ice here by suggesting that it may be problematic to make the right to teach a university course contingent on someone’s ancestry.

            A sad state of affairs that that could be considered thin ice. Your statement is an *anti-racist* statement, and is absolutely correct. (Just imagine if they required someone to be white to teach a certain course.)

            >the point of the course is obviously not to learn about every single religion/belief as they would be impossible

            Indeed, there are literally thousands of extant religions, and a zillion more extinct ones.

          • jeather 12:58 on 2020-02-16 Permalink

            I don’t think that a course on Indigenous women’s issues absolutely needs to be taught by an indigenous woman, but there are reasons why that is probably a better idea, and if one is available and interested and has qualifications that should be a plus in the column. (More or less what the letter from the indigenous students says on that front.)

            The details are scarce, but “my mother is a member of [specific tribe]” is a lot more active a statement than “I have a great grandparent who is native”, and more meaningfully a lie. (It remains unclear to me what she claimed, and what she knew.)

            Ignoring the power dynamics of “this course on indigenous issues should be taught by someone who is indigenous” vs “this course should be taught by someone who is white” in this culture is absurd.

          • Chris 13:19 on 2020-02-16 Permalink

            >I don’t think that a course on Indigenous women’s issues absolutely needs to be taught by an indigenous woman

            Agreed. And likewise a course on European history needn’t be taught by a white male.

            >but there are reasons why that is probably a better idea

            Could you elaborate? And would those reasons apply to the European history course too?

          • Kate 14:33 on 2020-02-16 Permalink

            Chris, your technique is always to try to confuse by mixing apples and oranges.

            If there are two people equally qualified to teach a course about indigenous women, an indigenous woman will bring more to the students. This is a live file, it’s ongoing. She will have her own experience and her first-hand knowledge of the situation to add to the documentation the students will study. Do not underestimate how she will also have more credibility and make more of an impact on the students as well.

            A lot of European history is past. Nobody can get up and tell about their experiences at the court of Charlemagne or the Yalta conference. The issue doesn’t arise.

          • jeather 17:39 on 2020-02-16 Permalink

            Also, we are in a culture steeped in white maleness, and white male history. (Christian, too.) Everyone has to understand these stories to get along. You can see this everywhere unless you are working very hard not to.

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