Bilingual for how long
Thereis a lot of wishful thinking right now in the Anglophone community in Quebec about the Bill 101 amendment bill proposed by the Parti Québécois, the worst being that the bill has not a hope of passing as both the Liberals and the CAQs will vote against it. The Liberals will, for sure, they even admit being dead if not for the ‘Anglo’ votes, but the CAQ?
Let’s start with the Liberals. They are in such disarray right now that they publicly admit that they will not have the full slate of delegates at their March leadership race in all ridings. They are saying this right now; wait till the Ides of March marches on when their new leader is presented to the National Assembly to read what this will mean for Quebec as a whole.
Then the CAQ will have to start thinking about being elected. That the goofing Mrs. Marois is a godsend is one thing; getting elected is another. For this, Mr. Legault needs the nationalist vote in Québec and this will mean forgetting that he is a child of the Montreal West Island and that he will attract enough votes from the English community to elect a couple of MNAs in their ridings. He can scream that he is a committed federalist, that he regrets his old ways, that he was actually very sick and suffering from a bout of Alzheimer’s before his age when he was the toughest of the ‘hard and pure’ in the Landry government, that he never meant any of this; not too many Anglophones will believe him, especially in the so-called Montreal crown of the North and South Shore where a lot of these suburbanites have ‘escaped’ Montreal and its Anglophone leaning immigrants to live ‘entre nous’. Call them racist if you want, but this is a simple repeat of a North American phenomenon, starting after the Second World War, when white people fled the towns to move to their suburbs.
So Mr. Legault and his troops will have a simple choice: go with the flow and have an excellent chance of defeating the PQ in the fall, or go the ADQ way. We guess that they will choose to win. And to do that they will have to look strong on ‘identity’, a.k.a.: French.
The beauty of Bill 14, the law amending Bill 101, is that some articles are obviously there to be removed, the municipal language one for a start. It’s a non-issue outside the Island of Montreal for the simple fact that there are no longer any municipalities that have a sizable English population. But the real test will come in Longueuil when the same type of resolution passed in Stanstead, which will be presented by the Greenfield Park borough council, comes to a vote. Chances are that it will be defeated, but with some amendments, it could be adopted. For those unaware, the mayor of Longueuil, Caroline St-Hilaire, is the wife of the Culture Minister, Maka Kotto.
Then the CAQ could vote for it and the subsequent law on socalled ‘bridge’ schools. For our region this is the one to check. When the Liberals adopted it, they added on provisions for the funding of the pension funds of Bishop’s College School and Stanstead College, more than spare change, yearly, by the way. The chances that the funding remains is nil. Chances that ALL private schools in Quebec are forced to adopt the complete curriculum of the Quebec Department of Education are excellent.
So, Stanstead could be spared, remain bilingual officially for the time being; it is way above the 40% of English speakers that JeanFrançois Lizée has hinted would be the norm, but lose Stanstead College in the medium term.
LastApril, a ravaging fire severely damaged the home of Stanstead’s Jane Webb and her son Tyler, claiming many of their possessions and forcing them to find alternate living arrangements. The small family was finally able to move back into their home in December after most of the repairs were done.
To help this Stanstead family get back on their feet, the of Stanstead group is putting on a “Tea and Chinese Auction”, this Saturday from 11:30 to 1:30 pm, at the United Church Hall in Stanstead. “This is something that we wanted to do months
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) last week opposed a moratorium on wind power projects in Vermont that he said would send a “terrible message” to the rest of the country and set back efforts to stop global warming.
A member of the U.S. Senate environment and energy committees, Sanders urged state lawmakers to reject a three-year ban on wind power projects.
“If Vermont ceases new wind development the message will go out all across the country, spread by the well-funded coal and oil companies, that even in Vermont – progressive Vermont – there is not a serious commitment to combating global warming,” Sanders said.
Sanders was joined at the news conference in his Senate office by Paul Burns of the Vermont Public Interest Research Group, Don Hooper of the National Wildlife Federation, Gabrielle Stebbins of Renewable Energy Vermont and Christopher Killian of the Conservation Law Foundation.