Can we take a pass on the quack?
Theclosest we can make the François Legault lead Coalition Avenir Québec abbreviation sound in English, CAQ, the closer we are to it sounding as quack. What, only a year ago, looked like a decent alternative to both the PQ and the Liberals, accepting to set aside the ‘national’ question for a while, is now the ADQ revived, with its absence of a program and the always present, lets abolish the school boards!
Backed at first by La Presse and its local newspapers, Québecor Le Journal de Montreal dark horse being Joseph Facal 365 days ago, the CAQ lead by a former PQ minister, was not a bad idea. Everybody understood that federalists and sovereignists would find a refuge from the ‘question’ and get down to business. It could have been the greatest thing ever to happen to Quebec, the ‘question’ being debated, without having a referendum in the air for some time. Leaving the Liberals refusal of even dreaming of it, with the damaging effect on the French electoral and the PQ of always dreaming about it aside. A couple of years of debates would not have killed anyone, far from it; it may even have resolved it for most of us.
That was not to be. By absorbing the former ADQ, Mr. Legault, bought a used car that nobody wanted. In 2007, Québec’s voters gave that party a chance of proving itself, in less than a year of a minority government it squandered it. Mr. Charest, facing a fractured PQ, the lowest ever turnout in a provincial election, got easily re-elected.
Today, the CAQ, seems to be only backed by the Montreal Gazette, who in true let’s roll back the clock fashion, is playing their well-known canard: The Liberals take us for granted, let’s vote for anything else. More or less, the English equivalent of the French Bloc Québécois vote, when we think of it.
If the English community really wants to serve a lesson to the Liberals, then can we submit a suggestion: Vote Parti Québécois or Québec Solidaire! As we all know, political parties first law states: If there is an amount of vote somewhere we must cater to it. It’s universal by the way.
We don’t care much for the platform of any party, but we must warm the readers of this newspaper that the CAQ is proposing that the ONLY political instrument left to English community in this province is its school board. Legault’s harebrained proposal would replace them by giving the individual school Conseil d’établissement the elected power who would then contract with another regional new structure for services. The community would be excluded and replace uniquely with parents.
This newspaper likes parents, its publisher is a parent, most of our staff are parents, and we are not against parenthood and apple pies. But in real life, parents are part of the community but are not the community. To access public school and if the PQ is elected all schools, your child must be eligible under article 23 of the Constitution, one of the parent or siblings must have attended an English school. They do not have to be English as matter of fact in Montreal, while they are English speakers, most are not ‘English’ and do not define themselves as such.
The community control of school boards, whatever forms they take, for minorities in Canada is defined by a unanimous decision of the Supreme Court in 1990, the Mahé case against the Edmonton school board. It clearly gives the community the control over their schools political organisation. Madame Marois, then Minister of Education, was the backer of linguistic school boards in Quebec in 1998, clearly stated then: to insure that the English community has full control of their school board.
Losing this would be a greatest loss of power that the English community would have faced. This province needs solutions, not quackery for short electoral gains.
Sergey feels the same way, but for much of his life he wondered if he could ever wind up in a place like the tranquil Northeast. Indeed, it’s a miracle of sorts that Sergey even had the choice. His great-grandfather was a Russian Orthodox priest at the time of the 1917 Revolution, and therefore was considered a member of the ruling class. He was murdered by revolutionaries in 1920. Sergey’s grandfather was stripped of his rights as a Russian citizen -- he was not allowed to go to college or even to live in a city. But by applying a little creativity to his biography, Sergey’s grandfather did attend college and eventually became a top government official in Kursk.
“He didn’t want to talk about the past,” Sergey recalls. “I didn’t even find out about my great-grandfather and the hardships my grandfather had until 1990, a few years before he died. That’s the way it is in Russia – the past is very, very dark for many people.”
But his grandfather’s hard work paved the way for Sergey’s father, who became a cardiologist and joined the medical corps in the Soviet military, a prestigious position in the USSR. It was an extraordinary family journey from the