Postscript: Disgraceful protests against brutality and language
Published Friday, March 16, 2012 10:25AM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, May 19, 2012 7:45AM EDT
MONTREAL - It's with more sadness than anger when I see what happens to our city every March 15th.
This year was particularly bad.
The so-called anti-police-brutality march has become a free-for-all, anarchists and malcontents set on destroying rather than building.
They came ready, armed and ready.
The protest against policing quickly degenerated into a riot complete with destruction and looting.
Our city looked like a war zone last night.
Any message about police brutality was lost, and once again the world was watching.
In Montreal, always beware the Ides of March.
Wrong-headed language purity
It's rather unsettling what is happening in Quebec on the language front these days.
French commentators lead the charge and their devoted faithful follow in the name of language purity.
Case in point: Huntingdon.
This small, peaceful town has become a flashpoint for disgruntled language hawks.
Its only crime is that it wants to service both French and English residents in their own languages.
And the result: vandalism; property defaced; the ugly tags of cowards.
Case in point: A depanneur owner in Verdun who doesn't speak French.
I agree that all businesses should serve their customers in French to the best of their ability. It's a bad business decision not to.
But Anthony Williams has been vilified, the usual gang of suspects has protested in front of his store, and his property has been covered with dog excrement.
He has become a target.
Is this the way we voice our opinion in a civilized and democratic society?
I fear it's going to get worse before it gets better.
We all know smoking can kill you or at the very least make your life miserable.
It is a habit that kills 37, 000 Canadians a year.
So when smokers and anti-smoking lobbies go after big tobacco as they are doing in a Montreal court this week you have to say hold on, we have known about this for 50 years.
I don't like the tobacco companies.
They make their money on a product that kills.
They did their best to conceal the truth for as long as they could.
Their lifestyle advertising and marketing of so called light cigarettes was shameful. Warning labels did not appear until they were forced to put them on in 1989.
But I think governments are hypocritical because while telling you not to smoke, they love the revenue it brings in.
I would like to see them spend that tax money on helping people quit.
The tobacco companies are certainly to blame.
But at the end of the day, this is also about personal responsibility.