Postscript: Students, Mulcair, and why bilingualism is better
Published Friday, March 23, 2012 12:38PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, May 19, 2012 7:49AM EDT
MONTREAL - So the good news is that the students managed a peaceful march.
No windows were smashed, no cars were set on fire.
But can we now bring some sanity to this circus?
Enough is enough.
The protesting students are indeed a little out of touch, but on the other hand, we were all young once.
You have to admire their passion, as misguided as it is.
When students shut down bridges, when they effectively close our downtown, when people miss vital appointments, when they hold businesses hostage, when emergency response is threatened, then we have a problem.
The right to protest is not open ended.
We have gone over all the numbers and the students still have a problem with math.
Even with all the hikes they would still be paying less in constant dollars than their parents did.
I would be so much more impressed if they actually protested against meaningful issues.
Why not protest the plight of many seniors in Quebec who live in wretched conditions?
Why not protest the right-wing policies coming from the Reform government in Ottawa?
Or even better, the human tragedy in Darfur.
This is a mercantile protest, plain and simple. It's not about access. It's about entitlement.
There must be a way out for both sides to save face. Fees will have to increase, there is no doubt about that. But if the government could possibly add more money to bursaries to help those at the lower end of the economic scale, perhaps that would help both sides walk away honourably.
It's time to talk.
NDP Leadership Convention
It sure looks like Tom Mulcair will be the new leader of her Majesty's Loyal Opposition.
I'm sure he has already made plans to redecorate Stornoway.
Not bad for a Quebec Anglo.
Mulcair has always been a bit of a political chameleon and the prospect of him as opposition leader could have some serious consequences on the unity issue, plus the NDP may end its brief flirtation as a national party.
You see, the NDP is desperately trying to replace the Bloc Quebecois as the party of Quebec nationalists and separatists.
It wants to extend Bill 101 to federally regulated companies in Quebec and it says the Clarity Act be damned: 50 percent plus 1 is enough for Quebec to become a country.
Mulcair is beholden to Quebec, and with a potential PQ government in this province it could be a perfect storm.
A quandary indeed for a West Island guy.
Together is better
Here's the best news of the week, and it's sure to make the official unilinguists in Quebec to take note.
You know, the ones who treat English as an Ebola virus.
Studies have found that bilingualism actually makes you smarter.
It improves the brain's function and helps you stay focused.
It improves cognitive skills and even helps ward off dementia.
Bilinguals are also better at solving tricky puzzles, obviously something we should work on in Quebec.
Because sometimes it feels we could all use a lot more smarts.