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  • Kate 17:47 on 2021-05-05 Permalink | Reply  

    The Roman Catholic archdiocese is promising to change, with the appointment of an ombudsman to handle any allegations of abuse or other inappropriate behaviour.

    This sounds suspiciously like corporate human resources, where employees are told HR is on their side, but all the time, HR is there to protect the company and help it avoid legal challenges and damaging complaints.

    • Kate 16:51 on 2021-05-05 Permalink | Reply  

      A “reverse parade” is being planned here for the Fête Nationale – basically a stationary series of floats installed throughout the Quartier des spectacles, around which people can walk and appreciate some kind of immersive audiovisual effects.

      • Kate 07:28 on 2021-05-05 Permalink | Reply  

        An umbrella group of community support organizations is virtually pleading with Quebec for more money to help the many people left in the financial lurch by the pandemic as it grinds on.

        • Kate 07:14 on 2021-05-05 Permalink | Reply  

          Francine Pelletier has a must-read column in Le Devoir on the Loi sur la laïcité de l’État aka Bill 21.

          • Meezly 09:00 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

            Maybe it’s a must read for white francophone Quebecers or anyone unaffected by, or indifferent to, law 21? Pelletier highlights the issues that non-white francophones, anglophone journalists and activists here and outside Quebec have already been well aware of ever since this bill was being passed.

          • Kate 09:06 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

            She summarizes it well, Meezly, and for a Le Devoir audience. Also, she says something important – that it’s 50 years too late for Quebec to be passing laws against religion. So much of the drive behind 21 is a reflexive Quebec response to the kind of stifling religion that people Legault’s age were born into (and have a collective memory of their parents and grandparents living through) but so little is written about how modern Quebec society has rebounded from that, not always healthily. It’s almost taboo to talk about it, as it’s almost taboo to ask why Quebec is now slavishly imitating France in its reverence for laïcité.

          • Meezly 09:26 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

            @Kate, in that context, yes I agree it’s important and I hope that Le Devoir audience is wide. This unspoken taboo is preventing Quebec society from progressing in any real way. Which is not saying much considering that society in general isn’t progressing much right now, at least in North America!

          • Bill Binns 09:41 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

            After hundreds of years, Quebec successfully and somewhat miraculously threw off the yoke of Catholicism. Let’s not be too surprised that they aren’t enthusiastic about the folks who are busy building a much stronger yoke while remarking about how comfortable and empowering it is.

          • Kate 09:53 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

            Bill Binns, the religions that are generally understood as the target of the law are Islam (women mostly, because of the hijab) and Judaism, and to some extent Sikhism since the turban is a visible sign of religious affiliation.

            Does anyone honestly think that Quebec is at risk of any of these belief systems coming to dominate our society?

            Does having a liberal society that can accommodate a few exceptions – parking around places of worship on holy days, acceptance of a few alternative days off for special feast days – actually threaten the Quebec polity so much?

            I think anyone who perceives the presence of people with differing ideas to be an immediate threat has a problem. Montreal is what it is because it can comfortably accommodate people from differing backgrounds and different faiths. That’s where our culture differs from the ROQ.

            Also, please note that Muslims, Jews and Sikhs do not proselytize. It is not they who are ringing your doorbell and being a pain in the ass.

          • steph 10:12 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

            >Does anyone honestly think that Quebec is at risk of any of these belief systems coming to dominate our society?

            unfortunately I think we all know people like this. These people think that if we don’t do anything now – “we will all end up wearing burka’s and sharia law will take over”. Yes, we have racism here in Quebec.

          • Ephraim 10:13 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

            @Kate – Isn’t it ironic that we have a big street in Montreal named after the man who helped emancipate the Jews of Quebec, and yet nothing after the man or his father? In fact, there are very few things named after famous Jews in Quebec. Okay, maybe Morgentaller is too controversial. How about Alan B. Gold? (The Rue Gold in St-Laurent is named after Gerry Gold.) Bronfman? They managed a Steinberg in St-Laurent (because that’s where the warehouse was) and a small little street in HoMa named after Ida Steinberg. Does Begin count? We could say it’s after Menachem Begin… too controversial… must be a Bégin.

          • Joey 10:35 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

            LOL to the idea that these goons can distinguish between Sikhism and Islam…

          • Kate 11:02 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

            Ephraim: And there was resistance to naming anything after Mordecai Richler, but at least he finally got his library.

            But you’re right, Ezekiel Hart deserves something, because it’s a story most of us don’t know.

            The Bronfmans made their money from bootlegging, so I don’t know how well they’d sell; there used to be the Saidye Bronfman Centre but that was renamed Segal Centre at some point.

            The Jewish General is formally the Sir Mortimer B. Davis etc. etc., but that name’s almost never written out completely.

            And then there was the time Côte St-Luc council named a bunch of parks and roads after themselves!

            In St-Laurent there’s an industrial park where there’s Cohen, Levy and Dobrin streets, but unless you work in the area they’re pretty obscure.

          • Bill Binns 12:01 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

            “Does anyone honestly think that Quebec is at risk of any of these belief systems coming to dominate our society?”

            Kate, how do you think people in France and Germany and Austria and England would answer that question? Rape gangs, Muslim patrols, no go zones, regular machine gunning of crowds, teachers having their heads lopped off etc. They are barely a generation of generous accomodation ahead of us. Don’t you think they wish they had thrown some cold water on religious fanatics when they still could?

          • Ephraim 12:08 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

            The naming in St-Laurent was when St-Laurent was it’s own city. Dobrin is named because of the Steinberg family. Jewish institutions name themselves based on donations. It’s a way of funding. UTT changed it’s name to Azrieli, for example. But the city hardly acknowledges the Jewish community that is here. And certain something should be named after Morgentaler, Ezekiel Hart and Justice Hart. I mean, we have a street named after Victor-Dore…. seriously.

            Again, Cote-St-Luc is it’s own city, like St-Laurent was. But Montreal itself, acts as if the city is devoid of Jews.

          • walkerp 12:19 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

            At this point, Kate, honestly, Binns is treading straight-up hate propaganda. Is it time for a ban?

          • Bill Binns 12:41 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

            Read the news WalkerP. Try not to skip over the hurtful facts this time.

          • EmilyG 12:51 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

            walkerp, I would agree. Among other things, his recent comment on the incident in Israel was so openly hateful.

          • Raymond Lutz 12:55 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

            Bill BInns, the news say you’re most likely to be killed by white christian supremacists rather than by muslims lunatics. Oh, and don’t take a walk in Old Quebec on Halloween night…

          • walkerp 13:00 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

            Seriously, Kate, I know this is a tough position for you, but this has crossed the line. I am not here to read or give pageviews to racist hate speech.

          • Bill Binns 13:17 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

            Lol. Attempted cancelation and deplatforming for the modern crime of, ummm “mentioning things that happened”.

            Shall I provide a list of All Jazeera links reporting on each of the issues I raised?

          • Kevin 14:15 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

            I see your rape gangs, no-go zones, and machine gunning of crowds and raise you mass murder by a denturist, the murders of children by doctors who can’t handle being dumped, and the slaughter of six men in a mosque by a francophone worried about imaginary people.

            Normal, reasonable behaviour doesn’t make international headlines.

          • dhomas 14:18 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

            I know I shouldn’t feed the troll, but here goes. @Bill Binns, you’re not just “mentioning things that happened”. You’re adding your own “hot take” on certain events while completely disregarding others. You mention “teachers having their heads lopped off”; I would counter with the Muslim immigrant, Mamoudou Gassama, who saved a kid from a balcony and got French citizenship: https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/28/asia/paris-baby-spiderman-rescue-intl/index.html.
            Or the other Muslim guy, Lassana Bathily, who helped hostages in a Kosher grocery shop in France:
            (My sources are mostly from France, since I work for a French company)
            By focusing on the negative, you are attempting to paint a picture that all of “them” are bad. This is textbook racism. There are bad people in every “race”, just like there are good people in every “race”.

            I’m a big fan of freedom of speech, so I’m not calling for a ban on Bill or anyone else at this point. I also like to hear the opinions of those who do not think like me so I don’t end up living in an echo chamber. I enjoy debating with people who think differently than I do and I don’t think that attempting to silence them will make them go away. But we will soon be reaching Popper’s paradox of tolerance: if we allow the intolerant to proliferate, we will lose our tolerant society. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox_of_tolerance). So please be careful that you don’t fall into full-on intolerance, Bill. At that point, even someone of my tolerant nature will not tolerate your intolerance.

          • Marco 14:21 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

            Here is a list of Canadian people doing good things.
            You’re welcome.

          • Bill Binns 15:01 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

            @Kevin – Absolutely. Nobody has howled more about Turcotte’s little sip of anti-freeze or his weekend bike rides while on vacation from Pinel than me. Same with the psycho who shot up the Mosque. However, these days it’s encouraged to use the mosque shootings as an example of a serious societal problem, the exact opposite is true regarding Islamic violence (see above). Those crimes must be forgotten and swept under the rug. If they must be mentioned it is all but required to add a bunch of qualifiers about it having “nothing to do with Islam – religion of peace” nonsense.

          • Mark Côté 15:08 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

            So France, with its big emphasis on laïcité, has all these problems. Canada, which (kinda) has a multicultural/tolerant approach, doesn’t seem to have these problems, to that scale anyway. Ergo…we should move towards the French model more? What are they doing wrong that we should do differently? Or do you have some theory that it would be even worse over there if they had a Canadian model, and that we are somehow going to end up far far worse if we don’t act now and follow the French?

            Also when is something a problem caused by a religion versus caused by people? What kind of math do we need to do to figure out what percentage of a religion’s adherents engaging in violence is sufficient to label the whole religion? And how do you really take down a religion if it’s a big problem? France clearly isn’t succeeding there. I’m not sure what measures we should be employing here to deal with the idea that apparently I might be the victim of Islamic rage or will be forced to go to a mosque someday.

          • CE 15:35 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

            I rarely agree with Bill Binns and find many of his views to be, at best, depressing but don’t agree with banning him from posting here if only because what he said resulted in Mark Côté’s extremely eloquent and well-reasoned rebuttal.

          • walkerp 15:56 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

            Though I appreciate the thoughtful responses, once the racism and hate reaches the level of outright lies and what is basically hate speech, any kind of engagement with it only further propagates it. You can see how this individual has slowly pushed the boundaries, starting off with little trolls meant to shock but now moving towards actual hate speech. And using classic right-wing tactics and talking points. This platform, though a teeny microcosm, is now hosting actual lies and propaganda. Where does it stop?

            I’m not arguing. If the post above is not censured and this individual kept on a very short leash going forward, I’m walking. Again, I am sorry Kate that you are put in a position by this racist to have to police the site, but we have already seen what has happened on other social media platforms (and in society in general) when this kind of hate is allowed to fester.

            This is unacceptable.

          • EmilyG 15:59 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

            When Bill comments on here, it often tends to derail discussions due to the acrimony, social Darwinism, hatred, resentment, hate speech, and bigotry of his posts.
            While I think it would be nice to have discussions on topics like homelessness, religion in Quebec, Indigenous people, poor people, addiction, and generally disadvantaged people, on this blog, without Bill getting triggered and having a platform to post his hate-filled comments, I don’t have the power to tell anyone what to do with their own blog.

          • Kate 16:07 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

            Folks, this thread has given me a lot to think about. I understand everyone’s position except Bill Binns’.

            My personal impulse is closest to CE’s: by bringing these attitudes out into the light, within civil discourse, we can also have responses as beneficial as dhomas’s and Mark Côté’s above. I am very grateful to them for sparring here.

            Bill Binns, you are not a stupid man, so I ask you to go away for awhile and do some thinking. Please reread this thread and see why good people feel your attitudes are not welcome in the kind of world most of us want to live in.

          • Raymond Lutz 16:12 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

            I support Bill Binns épanchement de bile: “One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” C.G. Jung.

          • Bill Binns 16:32 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

            Well goodbye after 15 years Kate.

            To the triggered, enjoy your safe space and the “world you want to live in”. I will be over here in the world we actually live in.

            Binns out

          • Joey 16:33 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

            The annual Bill Binns martyr play in one act. Been there, done that.

          • walkerp 17:30 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

            Thank you, Kate. I appreciate it.
            I used to believe in bringing the darkness out into the light. However, the last decade or so on the internet has shown me that darkness is not really the best metaphor. Hate and racism are more like the coronavirus, the more you allow it out, the more it propagates. We all saw how much things calmed down when Twitter and Facebook banned Trump.
            I’m all for opposing views and questioning popular assumptions, but straight out lies and making fake facts-based arguments that paint an entire race or religion as violent rapists is hate speech and illegal in Canada for a reason. Imagine if we have any Muslim readers how they would feel to read such a statement and see it allowed to stand.

          • Mark Côté 17:40 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

            For me, the biggest bore is just overly simplistic, binary views with no real substance (hence my comment, which I did in large part mean earnestly; I just literally don’t understand what some people want us to do, how any of the few proposed actions would lead to any realistic outcomes, nor even what those outcomes are exactly). I have my own biases for absolutely sure, as everyone does, but I have many more questions than answers, which seems to be the opposite of the people I don’t understand.

          • Raymond Lutz 17:44 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

            Technically, Kate didn’t ban him. So lightning the room _does_ make the cockroaches flee from public spaces. Moderation on online social platforms is HARD.

          • Kate 18:20 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

            Bill Binns is, as Raymond Lutz says, not banned. Nobody is banned from this blog.

          • PO 19:06 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

            I usually disagree with most of what Bill writes, but a lot of times he’s not wrong, he’s just offering points of view from another side. Some folk might take issue with his bluntness, but for a lot of subjects he’s the only thing keeping this place from becoming an echo chamber. I’m happy to ignore what he says when it “crosses a line”, but I don’t think he ever crossed a line. Instead he just let’s his feelings be known and some people seem to be more sensitive to that. I totally disagree that Bill is a bore or has no substance.

            Sticks and stones, I say. I’ll take ten Bill Binns over a single qatzelok (and I say that completely unapologetically – an honest ad hominem from me).

          • Kevin 19:08 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

            Bill Binns
            Read up on the Lost Boy phenomenon. Tom Nichols is a good place to start.
            It applies to many violent idiots no matter their religion.

          • walkerp 19:42 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

            Here is why a line was crossed in this thread. There is a massive and sophisticated network of propaganda and misinformation out there that provides a rich and realistic portfolio of news articles, documentaries, academic papers, etc. that support the lies about immigration in Europe. I know we are a small group here, but somebody could stumble upon that post who already has a predilection for anxiety about Muslim immigration and go “hmmm no-go zones, I should look into that”. They google it and start down the rabbit hole of brainwashing and radicalization. That has real world consequences.

            This is not a “both sides” issue. There are real arguments to be had around the complexity of immigration policies. But any argument that starts using straight-up lies about no-go zones and rape gangs and any other false and emotionally-triggering racism has the risk of real world harm coming to people of colour. They need to be called out and shut down right away.

            Anybody who thinks this is just theoretical discussion is doing so because they have the privilege of not having to fear real harm. Even in the privilege (which I certainly have) you have to have been living with your head in the sand to not see what happened in the US under Trump when racism and hate were allowed into the discourse and treated as valid rhetorical positions rather than the virulent social disease that they are.

          • ant6n 20:44 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

            Let me tell you guys some about the state in Europe. I’m currently staying in Berlin, only a couple hundred meters from one of the immigrant red zones (“Kreuzberg”). When I go gathering for Food in what is now effectively a failed state, I make sure the armor on my humvee is solid and the spikes are sharp, to make sure I can make it safely through the muslim/refugee/rape gangs. It’s a good idea to keep two machine guns loaded while out and about, you never know when some vigilante sharia patrol sneaks up from behind. You better stay on the look out, what with the constant news of beheadings, which even occur in the safe zones during incursions by machete-wielding foreign phantom fanatics. Us white people have it tough here these days, but that’s what we get for having opened our borders to the horde. You be warned.

          • Nick 21:10 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

            Ant6n crossed the line. Please ban him now.

          • walkerp 21:33 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

            Yes definitely #fakenews since everybody knows the German nanny state would never let you drive a real car like a humvee or buy ammo for your machine guns.

          • PO 22:06 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

            Caricatures. That’s where it all ends up.

          • Mark Côté 01:00 on 2021-05-06 Permalink

            I totally disagree that Bill is a bore or has no substance.

            I did not label anyone a bore; I was referring to a pattern of argument that has many authors.

          • PO 06:12 on 2021-05-06 Permalink

            Mark – you’re right, that was my misinterpretation. My apologies. It’s clear now you were speaking generally and not about anyone in particular.

          • Ant6n 06:49 on 2021-05-06 Permalink

            You don’t buy ammo, you source it.
            From the stockpiles of allied underground nazi police networks.

          • Kevin 09:57 on 2021-05-06 Permalink

            I am trying to picture any of the Germans I have met in my life holding a firearm and failing miserably. Hike every mountain, drink and sing, play board games, able to deliver a lecture about the evil history of their country at a moment’s notice, but nope, no firearm use.

        • Kate 06:48 on 2021-05-05 Permalink | Reply  

          A study shows that at least 473 Quebecers died from Covid they caught when in hospital for something else.

          • Kate 06:44 on 2021-05-05 Permalink | Reply  

            Popup vaccine clinics in Park Ex have been a success. The observation is made here that the bad Covid news from India may be one reason people from that part of the world have been motivated to go. The imam of the mosque where a clinic was held says that since the vaccine is not nourishment, getting it doesn’t break the Ramadan fast, and the issue of it being halal doesn’t arise.

            Urbania went to Park Ex and has a two-part look at how the area is changing.

            • Raymond Lutz 10:27 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

              Well, I think it’s all useless (although I got my AZ shot). New variants (against which the current vaccines will be greatly less effective) are gonna pop up on a regular basis from nations whose neoliberal sociopath leaders (Modi and Bolsonaro) transformed their captive population into giant Petri dishes.

              Big pharmas know this and are salivating at the potential multi-year inpouring cashflow… that’s why they (and Bil Gates) are against the intellectual property waiver for covid vaccine patents.

              This is a gem from FT: “As industry lobbying has escalated in Washington, companies have warned in private meetings with US trade and White House officials that giving up the intellectual property rights could allow China and Russia to exploit platforms such as mRNA, which could be used for other vaccines or even therapeutics for conditions such as cancer and heart problems in the future.”

              OMG! Russia and China could cure cancer and heart problems, we must stop them! [puking]

            • Kevin 11:05 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

              Raymond Lutz
              There is very little money in virus and vaccine research. That’s why so many companies shut down or greatly scaled back their research in this field over the past 15 years.

              I mean, there’s a reason that so many Biochem and Pharma companies no longer exist in Montreal…

            • Raymond Lutz 11:52 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

              For greedy people, 24 billions is a lot of money, even if vaccines are only 3% of total global drug market. source. Shure, profit margins are greater with Oxycontin

            • Kevin 12:51 on 2021-05-05 Permalink

              And yeah, Pfizer is getting about 1/3 of its revenue this year from the covid vaccine — but that’s a very unusual blip. Moderna is expected to break even for the first time ever because it’s charging a significant sum per dose. AstraZeneca lost money developing and selling its vaccine.

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