Sorry seems to be the hardest word, but Martin Coiteux got it somewhat right this week.
Coiteux is the Liberal minister who represents a majority-English speaking riding. He admitted he made a language gaffe. In a move reminiscent of Justin Trudeau’s error earlier this year, Coituex was asked a question in English in the National Assembly and answered in French.
“Je vais m’en tenir a notre tradition en cette Assemblee, je vais repondre en francais ici.”
Just hold on there! You see, English is an official language of Quebec’s Assembly. Every bill and regulation must be drawn up in both languages. Even Bill 101 needed an exact word-for-word English version. Over the years, I have seen many a Pequiste speak English in the Blue Room. The problem is that sometimes in the official business of Quebec, English is an afterthought and it’s easily just swept under the rug.
What happened this week is minor in the grand scheme of things, but for those who cherish the viability and survival of English in Quebec, it’s important. It’s paramount that we are always there to remind our leaders that we matter and will be heard. Perhaps, this week, a was lesson learned.
A week from hell for the Libs
It has been a rough week for the Quebec Liberals, with word that former premier Charest has been under police surveillance. Actually, it’s been more like a week from hell.
The stench of corruption surrounding the Liberals somehow keeps coming back. There are allegations of illegal fundraising, kickbacks, cronyism, and even the blocking of investigations. It’s important to note that none of these allegations against anyone has been proven in court, but sometimes, if it walks like a duck and swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck. But the justice system has the final word
The best thing the Liberals have going for them 18 months before an election is a really ineffective opposition. I can’t see Jean-Francois Lisee igniting the passion of Quebecers. To their credit, the Liberals did accomplish a couple of really good things this week.
The government is loosening the regulations for volunteers to do work in schools and hospitals and other not-for-profit centres. It was triggered after some parents were caught painting their kids school illegally – in the nanny state, regulation obsessed Quebec, you can be charged with illegal painting or illegal dry-walling, even if you don’t get a cent for it. Soon, it will okay to gussy up your kids school or daycare.
The unions, of course, are up in arms and demanding justice so no one will mess with their $94-per-hour painters.
Send in the clowns? No, send out the clown pants
What took so long? The clown pants are on their way out. Perhaps it’s something to do with Denis Coderre’s 375th wingding? Maybe.
The pants and red ball caps have been a symbol of police defiance for the last three years because the cops were angry over changes to their gold-plated pension plan. It’s troubling when your own police officers don’t respect the regulations because they don’t like them. It really does strike at the heart of what it means to swear to uphold law and order.
And guess what? The protest didn’t work. All it accomplished was pushing Montreal’s troubled police force into even lower public esteem.
It is indeed time for them to put their pants on and earn back some much needed respect.