Postscript: Disrespect for patients, passengers and fans
By Barry Wilson, CTV Montreal Executive Producer
Published Friday, January 11, 2013 11:51AM EST
Last Updated Sunday, January 13, 2013 11:55AM EST
There is very little this Parti Quebecois government could do that would surprise me.
Despite its half-hearted cynical attempt to seduce us Madame Marois and company are not interested in our welfare, although they do like our tax money.
In 1995, the PQ government officially closed five western Montreal community hospitals, including the Queen Elizabeth and the Reddy Memorial.
It was a huge blow and we have never recovered.
It was no coincidence the separatists had narrowly lost the referendum earlier that year, with the blame infamously cast at the "money and ethnics" for the defeat of their dream.
Now all these years later the PQ again is flexing its health care muscle by removing Lachine Hospital from the MUHC.
It is about language, not healthcare.
The McGill University Health Centre had big plans for the Lachine Hospital yet the MUHC was not even consulted about the change. Not even a phone call.
Further, this government has put the brakes on a new hospital planned for the Vaudreuil-Dorion area.
Is it a coincidence that the off-island area west of Montreal is a high-growth area for anglos with few votes for the PQ?
STM's 'legal opinion' is non-existent
We found out this week that our publicly-owned and publicly-funded transit system--you know, the folks who work for us--was torquing the truth more than a smidgen over English language services.
There are many fine people at the STM, but the transit authority has been plagued with too many front line workers who treat English as something best ignored or treated with hand sanitizer.
It seems there is never a shortage of stories of ticket takers refusing to speak English or even actually allegedly assaulting customers.
What about announcements in the Metro? En francais seulement.
Not that they are usually understandable in any language. Hamburger joint drive-thrus have better sound systems.
The STM had always told us that offering service in English just couldn't be done because of Bill 101. Blah blah blah.
Now we find out the STM never even bothered to seek a legal opinion from the language office and it is quite possibly wrong about article 46 of Bill 101.
Under the law there is leeway to provide English service.
Trying to hide behind arcane and mean-spirited language laws is an insult to us and it no doubt gives tourists a lasting impression of our city.
The NHL returns
Hockey will soon be back and my bet is that fans will soon forgive and forget.
Really, most diehards will be content with a delay of game penalty and that's it.
But what did we learn?
We learned that it's business, all business. Money is the driving force of a game that we shroud in mythology.
Not once during this acrimonious standoff did I ever sense that anything was being done for the good of the game
Who stood up for the fans? Nobody.
The season will begin shortly and here in the mecca of hockey a few wins in a row will have
breathless pundits and fans singing that old refrain "ca sent la coupe."
But that being said… go Habs go.