Updates from June, 2023 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:20 on 2023-06-13 Permalink | Reply  

    Interesting freedom-of-speech contrast in Tuesday’s media: CBC critiques Quebec for shutting down a Christian group’s gathering in Quebec City because it’s known to be anti‑abortion, and this goes against the “fundamental principles” of Quebec. The group is suing.

    Meanwhile over on the Journal site, Sophie Durocher is livid because although an appeals court reversed the CRTC ruling that the N‑word should not have been spoken on radio, the broadcaster has maintained its policy on limiting offensive language. Yes, what is offensive is a category with blurred edges, Sophie – that’s how language is. You can’t always guarantee that nobody will be offended by anything said on radio, but there’s no reason to hold out for the “freedom” to use language that’s generally understood to offend. It is almost never necessary and common consideration would rule it out.

    • H. John 23:54 on 2023-06-13 Permalink

      Clearly, it’s all Loyola’s fault.

      The Attorney General brought a motion to allow an appeal of the decision by the CRTC. The motion, in reference to the method used to reach the original decision, quoted the Supreme Court’s decision in Loyola (Loyola High School v. Quebec ) where it ruled:

      “… where a discretionary administrative decision engages the protections enumerated in the Charter — both the Charter’s guarantees and the foundational values they reflect — the discretionary decision-maker is required to proportionately balance the Charter protections to ensure that they are limited no more than is necessary given the applicable statutory objectives that she or he is obliged to pursue.”
      The Federal Court of Appeal agreed, and sent the decision back to the CRTC for a re-think.

      As Emmett Macfarlane, professor of political science, explains:

      “in these debates, the distinction between moral and social values on the one hand, and state regulation or sanction of speech on the other, often gets a bit lost. There’s a distinction to be made between not having the social license to say the word, and whether the state (or public institutions, like universities) should sanction or prohibit the word.”


      “Perhaps if we were capable of having these debates and making distinctions between what you can do and what you should do in a free and democratic society, we might not be wasting resources on these easy (legally speaking) cases.”

      Macfarlane’s sub-stack article is worth reading:


    • Kate 09:09 on 2023-06-14 Permalink

      “Social license” is interesting, and I think it may be where the anglo and franco philosophies differ on this.

    • GC 16:24 on 2023-06-14 Permalink

      Thanks for that link, H. John. Interesting read.

      I know I should know better than to ever read comments online, but I did… And, inevitably, there is someone who swoops in and tries to make the whole thing about French-Canadians-as-victims. SIGH.

    • qatzelok 19:37 on 2023-06-14 Permalink

      In the early 60s, when Valliere wrote his book with the banned word in the title, French Canadians made about 70% of the yearly income that African-Americans made, and French Canadians had the lowest economic attainment in the developed world.

      Of course, the question we don’t want to answer is: who was responsible for this oppression?

      Also, which group in Canada was responsible for the atrocities against First Nations?

    • walkerp 07:40 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

      Seriously, qatzelok?

    • GC 21:56 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

      The only thing you’re proving, qatzelok, is that you didn’t read Macfarlane’s article. (Much like the commentator…) Thanks for being predictable, though!

  • Kate 16:35 on 2023-06-13 Permalink | Reply  

    The Journal is pushing for the defunding of Quebec’s anglo universities, seeing them as sinister agents aimed at anglicizing Montreal. And Mario Dumont simply cannot handle the fact that some people deny that French is in decline in the city.

    I will have to defy Mario. The Canadian census of 1931 has just been made public and I’ve been skimming it for some family history data. And there are a lot of anglo names, and not just in neighbourhoods where you’d expect. For example, that year, my dad had just arrived as a child in Canada, and was living with relatives in Hochelaga. About half the names on the census sheets for the area are anglo names. I doubt they would be now. And I’ve noticed that trend over and over again. Montreal was a far more anglo city in the early to mid 20th century than it is now. It is not in decline from a glorious past of 100% French speakers.

    Also, more anglos and allos than ever are now speaking French comfortably in their working and general public life. I can’t cite studies but I’ve seen things cited that bear this out. But that may never be enough.

    I’ve noticed, by the way, the difference in attitude expressed in one word: Il faut franciser les immigrés. But anglos don’t think in terms of anglicizing people. Francizing people feels like it is changing their basic nature. I’ve never heard of anglicizing someone when what you mean is teaching them English.

    • shawn 17:46 on 2023-06-13 Permalink

      In this case, it’s an op-ed by one guy. But we’ll see.

      (BTW Péladeau was on RDS – a rarity in itself – before that Alouettes home opener and he praised Percival-Molson to the hilt. Of course, he wants to get fans there and doesn’t want to pay for a stadium of his own but it was interesting to watch.)

    • shawn 17:47 on 2023-06-13 Permalink

      (I meant the first piece on defunding. I wish the Dumont piece was a lone voice but we know it’s not).

    • Poutine Pundit 00:11 on 2023-06-14 Permalink

      The percentage of bilingual mother tongue English-speakers in Quebec went up from 37% in 1971 to 72% in 2021, with 82% bilingualism rates among the youth cohort, so yes, English-speakers have never been this bilingual. Stats here, page 4: https://www.concordia.ca/content/dam/artsci/scpa/quescren/docs/Memoire_QUESCREN_avenir_francais_2023.pdf#.html

    • Kate 09:22 on 2023-06-14 Permalink

      Thank you, Poutine Pundit.

      Since I’m mentioning family history, mine is probably typical here. My mother and her brother and sister were all born here and worked here all their lives without speaking French. My aunt, in fact, in the classic mode, even worked at Eaton’s for awhile before she got married. Never spoke any French (and she wasn’t fat) but it was not a job requirement at the time.

      Dad was parachuted into Hochelaga at age 11, went to school in English but learned to speak French from the other kids in the area. I don’t know whether he could write accurate French but he did speak it. It was from Dad that I learned useful phrases like “j’vas te donner une claque su’l’yueule” which I did not learn in French class at my English school. I remember noticing the gap between our textbook French and the kind of French my Dad knew from scrapping in a Hochelaga alley.

      My cousins and my sister and I all went to school in English in Montreal. Aunt’s and uncle’s families left for Ontario between 1963 and 1980. My sister and I worked in English and French although our written French would probably be severely criticized.

      Neither my sister nor I ever had kids, but the kids of various anglo friends all went to school in French and speak French flawlessly, while also writing it accurately. My sister and I would probably have sent any kids to French school as well.

      However, I could hazard a guess the anglos I know from that generation mostly speak English at home, read English books and watch English movies and TV. If they stay here they’ll probably send their kids to French school. Everyone knows we need French in the outside world and to work but we have not been fully francisé because in private, we’re living in the langue de Shakespeare, not Molière.

    • Uatu 10:45 on 2023-06-14 Permalink

      I think it’s funny that a guy with an Italian name, Mario and a graduate of Concordia would complain about Anglicization

    • Kevin 16:06 on 2023-06-14 Permalink

      As someone pointed out on Twitter, nobody has to go to an English-run school in Quebec, so they had to compete to attract/ retain students. The quality of French taught now is far better, and more relevant, than it was in the 80s and 90s.

  • Kate 15:57 on 2023-06-13 Permalink | Reply  

    The 2022 report from Montreal’s ambudsman specifically mentions the presence of homeless Indigenes around Milton‑Parc: only two of the five recommendations made last year have moved forward at all and the situation continues.

    • Kate 11:42 on 2023-06-13 Permalink | Reply  

      Moishe’s is reopening on Victoria Square.

      • carswell 11:57 on 2023-06-13 Permalink

        Check out the prices. Jumbo shrimp cocktail, $18… per shrimp!

      • MarcG 12:07 on 2023-06-13 Permalink

        I wonder if they have a chandelier in the bathroom

      • Kate 12:34 on 2023-06-13 Permalink

        At the moment, a chandelier in the bathroom is in very dubious taste.

      • Ephraim 19:48 on 2023-06-13 Permalink

        Does the menu come with a mortgage application form?

    • Kate 10:43 on 2023-06-13 Permalink | Reply  

      The people camping under the Ville‑Marie near Atwater were ordered by a judge recently to leave the area by June 15, but lawyers are appealing the decision to grant more time for the residents to find permanent places to live.

      On the whole I tend to be on the side of leniency but there’s an unstated issue here: the plea says they need the extra weeks to get documentation for housing, but those people have been there a long time, and have faced repeated orders to move out. Having to leave the area is not fresh news to them or to their supporters. After years, will another few weeks get them any closer to their goal?

      • Kate 10:34 on 2023-06-13 Permalink | Reply  

        Canada Lands owns Mill Street and wants to sell part of it to a developer, but the city says it has a claim on some of the land. The future of the area, and how it will be developed for the benefit of the city, hangs in the balance.

        • Kate 09:55 on 2023-06-13 Permalink | Reply  

          La Presse is getting excited for the Grand Prix.

          Some notes on traffic difficulties around the events on the islands.

          • Marco 10:15 on 2023-06-13 Permalink

            Oh, that taxpayer funded tribute to the internal combustion engine gods. Yay! Can’t wait.

          • Thomas 10:34 on 2023-06-13 Permalink

            I’m not a fan of the vroom vroom myself, and to Marco’s point yes it does receive public funding (just the same as so many other events), but it does serve as a vitrine touristique for the city, bringing in tourism dollars that offset the public funding it receives, and also contributes to Montreal’s prestige on the global stage.

          • Shawn Goldwater 19:06 on 2023-06-13 Permalink

            I am tired today and easily irritated but yes the Claire Morrisette bike path is blocked off along with everything else around Crescent for this thing, I guess.

            We all had to dismount and walk our bikes but there were no actual cops so I wonder if some people just cycled through and told them to go to blazes?

        • Kate 09:01 on 2023-06-13 Permalink | Reply  

          A man was found dead with marks of violence on his body, Monday evening in Rosemont. Hasn’t been given a homicide number yet.

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