Can we take a pass on the quack?

Stanstead Journal - - FORUM -

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

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