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  1. http://world.time.com/2013/04/08/quebecs-war-on-english-language-politics-intensify-in-canadian-province/ To live in Quebec is to become accustomed to daily reminders that French in the Canadian province is the most regulated language in the world. Try, as I did recently, to shop at Anthropologie online and you’ll come up empty-handed. The retail chain (which bears a French name) opened its first Montreal boutique in October, but “due to the Charter of the French Language” has had its site shut down: “We hope you’ll visit us in store!” Montreal’s transit authority maintains that under the present language law, its ticket takers must operate in French, which lately has spurred complaints from passengers. Last year, the city of Montreal erected 60 English safety signs nearby Anglophone schools in an effort to slow passing vehicles. The Quebec Board of the French Language and its squad of inspectors ordered that they be taken down; a snowy drive through town revealed that all had been replaced by French notices. Since the Parti Québécois (PQ), which calls for national sovereignty for Quebec, won a minority government in September, the reminders have become increasingly less subtle. In February, a language inspector cited the swank supper club Buonanotte, which occupies a stretch of St. Laurent Boulevard, Montreal’s cultural and commercial artery, for using Italian words like pasta on its otherwise French menu. The ensuing scandal, which has come to be known as “pastagate,” took social media by storm. “These are problems we had in the 1980s,” says restaurant owner Massimo Lecas. “They were over and done with; we could finally concentrate on the economy and fixing potholes. And then this new government brought them all back. These issues might never go away now, and that is a scary sort of future.” It’s true: despite the nuisances and controversies generated by Bill 101, Quebec’s 1977 Charter of the French Language, the province had settled in the past years into a kind of linguistic peace. But tensions have mounted considerably since the separatist PQ returned to the fore. In the wake of pastagate, the language board allowed that its requests were maybe overzealous; the head of the organization resigned. And yet the PQ has prepared for the passage of Bill 14, a massive and massively controversial revision to Bill 101. The bill’s 155 proposed amendments go further than any previous measures have to legislate the use of French in Quebec. Most English speakers see the changes as having been designed to run them right out of the province. “Definitely non-Francophone kids who are graduating are leaving,” says restaurateur Lecas. “If you don’t have a mortgage yet, if you’re not married yet, if you don’t own a business yet, it’s like, ‘I’m so outta here.’ But leaving is not the solution because when you leave, they win.” In a poll conducted by the research company EKOS in January, 42% of the Anglophones surveyed said they’ve considered quitting Quebec since the PQ was elected. If Bill 14 passes, military families living in Quebec but liable to be relocated at any time will no longer be permitted to send their children to English-language schools. Municipalities whose Anglophone inhabitants make up less than 50% of their populations will lose their bilingual status, meaning, among other things, that residents won’t be able to access government documents in English. For the first time, companies with 25 to 49 workers will be required to conduct all business in French, a process set to cost medium-size businesses $23 million. French speakers interested in attending English-language colleges will take a backseat to Anglophone applicants. The language inspectors will be able to instantly search and seize potentially transgressive records, files, books and accounts, where currently they can only “request” documents that they believe aren’t in accordance with the law. And no longer will they grant a compliance period. As soon as a person or business is suspected of an offense, “appropriate penal proceedings may be instituted.” Jamie Rosenbluth of JR Bike Rental is among the business owners who’ve had run-ins with the ever more bold language board, which already has the authority to impose fines and, in extreme cases, shut enterprises down. A month ago, an inspector asked him to translate the Spanish novelty posters that paper his shop and increase the size of the French writing on his bilingual pricing list by 30%. Says Rosenbluth: “I told her, ‘You want me to make the French words 30% bigger? O.K., how about I charge French-speaking people 30% more?’ It is so silly. Are they 30% better than me? Are they 30% smarter than me?” Since the encounter, he has covered the offending posters with placards of his own that say, in French, “Warning: Non-French sign below. Read at your own discretion.” The PQ is trying to reassure its separatist base of its seriousness as a defender of Quebecois identity. To pass Bill 14, it will need the support of at least one of the province’s two primary opposition parties. In other words, if the bill doesn’t succeed, Premier Pauline Marois of the PQ will be able to hold the opposition accountable and remain a hero to the hard-liners. The PQ knows that, in its present incarnation, it will never drastically expand its core of support, but it can galvanize its troops. Some of those supporters rallied together in Montreal last month to protest “institutional bilingualism” and champion the bill. Cheers and applause resounded when journalist Pierre Dubuc called out: “If someone can’t ask for a metro ticket in French, let them walk.” Public hearings on Bill 14 began in early March at the National Assembly in Quebec City and are ongoing. “I can tell you that if someone came to Côte-St.-Luc to tell us we would lose our bilingual status, you will have chaos, you will have opposition of people you wouldn’t think of who will take to the streets,” testified Anthony Housefather, mayor of the municipality of Côte-St.-Luc, on the first day. “People are scared, people are very scared.” By the time Quebec’s largest Anglophone school board, Lester B. Pearson, came forward on March 19, it had already collected 32,000 signatures on a petition against the bill. “There are many ways of protecting French, and coercion isn’t one of them,” says Simo Kruyt, a member of the board’s central parent committee. “Fourteen of our schools have closed over the past seven years. We are getting fed up. We are getting tired of having to fight to be who we are. English is the language of commerce and we parents believe we are part of a world that’s larger than Quebec.” It’s hard yet to say if the bill will make it through. The opposition Liberals have flat-out refused to support the legislation. The Coalition Avenir Québec, which holds the balance, has said that it might — if certain of the more controversial measures are “improved.” In fact, the Coalition has only come out against four sections of Bill 14, and these don’t include the provisions that would give the dreaded language inspectors new and extraordinary powers. In the face of such antagonism, it’s no wonder some are leaving. Kruyt’s eldest son, a bilingual 27-year-old engineer, is preparing to relocate to Ottawa, the Canadian capital that sits near Quebec’s western border. Says Kruyt: “There, they’ll appreciate his French and won’t hammer him because of his English.” Read more: http://world.time.com/2013/04/08/quebecs-war-on-english-language-politics-intensify-in-canadian-province/#ixzz2PxmWuSHp
  2. Pipeline : opposition à Enbridge * Presse Canadienne, * 08:18 Des groupes environnementaux veulent empêcher du pétrole issu des sables bitumineux de l'Alberta de faire son entrée au Québec. Les organisations Equiterre, ForestEthics et Environmental Defense lancent ce mercredi une pétition en ligne afin que les Québécois puissent exiger le rejet de ce projet. Chaque message signé sera acheminé directement à tous les chefs de partis fédéraux. Enbridge sollicite l'autorisation de l'Office national de l'Energie afin de pouvoir acheminer par pipeline du pétrole issu des sables bitumineux de l'Alberta vers Montréal, en passant par l'Ontario. Une partie de ce pétrole serait raffinée à Montréal pour usage au Québec et le reste serait envoyé par pipeline vers le Maine, pour ensuite être chargé sur des pétroliers en route vers le Golfe du Mexique, là où se trouve la plus importante capacité de raffinage des Etats-Unis. Les environnementalistes soutiennent que l'approbation de ce projet par le gouvernement du Canada générerait des émissions de gaz à effet de serre de 6,5 millions de tonnes par année.
  3. La ministre Monique Jérôme-Forget a réitéré mardi son opposition à l'établissement d'une commission pancanadienne des valeurs mobilières proposé la veille par un groupe de travail. Pour en lire plus...
  4. via la Voix Pop 15/01/2016 Mise à jour : 15 janvier 2016 | 13:06 Projet de 135 condos sur la rue Saint-Rémi Par André Desroches TC Media L'immeuble résidentiel de quatre étages serait construit au 767, Saint-Rémi, là où l'on trouve présentement un bâtiment industriel inoccupé, ainsi que sur le terrain contigu. André Desroches / TC Media Un projet résidentiel comptant 135 unités d’habitation, essentiellement des copropriétés et quelques logements sociaux, pourrait voir le jour sur la rue Saint-Rémi dans le quartier Saint-Henri. L’immeuble serait construit au 767, Saint-Rémi, là où l’on trouve un bâtiment industriel inoccupé, ainsi que sur le terrain contigu. Selon ce qu’a appris TC Media, il inclurait 14 logements sociaux et 14 logements abordables. Il s’agirait d’un bâtiment de quatre étages. Le règlement d’urbanisme de l’arrondissement du Sud-Ouest prévoit pour ce secteur des immeubles de 2 à 3 étages. Le projet, qui déroge à cette norme, pourrait faire l’objet d’un projet particulier de construction. La table de concertation Solidarité Saint-Henri a organisé deux rencontres en décembre et janvier pour présenter le projet aux résidents qui demeurent dans le Village des tanneries, là où le bâtiment serait érigé. Le Village des tanneries, cette petite enclave située à l’extrémité ouest de Saint-Henri, est délimité par les rues Cazelais, Saint-Rémi et Desnoyers et la voie ferrée. Opposition du POPIR Bien qu’il ne s’agisse pour le moment que d’une proposition préliminaire, le promoteur n’ayant déposé aucun projet formel à l’arrondissement, le POPIR-Comité Logement affiche d’emblée son opposition. «Notre mandat, c’est zéro condo», déclare Fred Burrill, organisateur communautaire au POPIR. C’est un non catégorique même si le projet prévoit l’inclusion de logements sociaux. «Nous ne sommes pas pour la construction de logements sociaux à n’importe quel prix», souligne M. Burrill. Selon le POPIR, ce type de développement résidentiel ne répond pas aux besoins des locataires de Saint-Henri, dont le revenu médian est de 25 395$. «Nous voulons le plus possible que le quartier demeure un quartier populaire», insiste Fred Burrill pour qui la multiplication de projets de condos ne fait qu’accélérer l’embourgeoisement du quartier. «Nous n’avons pas encore de position», indique pour sa part Shannon Franssen, coordonnatrice de Solidarité Saint-Henri. Le Comité aménagement de la table de concertation doit se réunir au début de février pour faire le point dans ce dossier.
  5. Conformément à cette législation, le gouvernement aiderait des propriétaires à obtenir de nouveaux prêts plus avantageux et serait autorisé à proposer un soutien à Fannie Mae et Freddie Mac. Pour en lire plus...
  6. La rivalité Québec-Montréal, une affaire de francophones Pierre-André Normandin Le Soleil Québec La rivalité Québec-Montréal est une affaire de francophones. Anglophones et allophones québécois semblent divisés presque à parts égales sur l’existence ou non d’une tension entre les deux villes, selon un sondage Unimarketing. document.write(''); Ces données contrastent avec les réponses des Québécois francophones. Quatre sur cinq se disent convaincus de l’existence d’une telle opposition. Entretenue principalement par les médias de langue française, cette rivalité échapperait à une grande partie des anglophones et allophones, estime le président d’Unimarketing, Raynald Harvey. Bien qu’une tension existe depuis la fondation des deux villes, les passions semblent avoir été exacerbées par les affrontements sur les patinoires du Colisée et du Forum. En effet, même si les Nordiques sont disparus depuis 12 ans, 11 % des Québécois attribuent encore aujourd’hui au hockey l’origine de cette opposition. La proportion augmente significativement chez les hommes de 35 à 45 ans qui ont connu à l’adolescence les moments forts de cette rivalité sportive. Fait à noter, c’est à Québec que la tension semble la plus forte, 39 % de ses habitants montrant du doigt le complexe de supériorité des Montréalais pour expliquer cette situation. À l’inverse, les gens de la métropole sont peu nombreux (7 %) à attribuer la cause de cette tension au complexe d’infériorité de leurs vis-à-vis de l’autoroute 20. La moitié (46 %) partage plutôt la faute entre les gens des deux villes. Signe de cet amour-haine entretenu de longue date, 6 Montréalais sur 10 (59 %) disent pouvoir reconnaître les gens de Québec à leur accent. À l’inverse, la moitié de la province ne croit pas que les habitants de la capitale ont un accent. http://www.cyberpresse.ca/article/20080106/CPSOLEIL/80105073/6585/CPSOLEIL
  7. Do we dare think big again? After three decades of decline, stagnation and costly federalist-separatist battles, Montreal politicians have taken to looking in rear-view mirrors to the Drapeau era megaprojects, when the term 'Big O' could have stood for 'optimism' JAMES MENNIE, The Gazette Published: 10 hours ago "Of all the achievements of the Drapeau administration," says Paul-André Linteau, a professor of history at the Université du Québec à Montréal, "Expo 67 occupies a special place in our collective imagination. "When we marked the 40th anniversary of Expo last year, it was heavily covered by the media, and full of teary-eyed, nostalgic baby boomers recalling the extraordinary summer they spent at Expo 67. "But often we experience a kind of deformation of memory that sees an individual's recollection transformed into something the entire community believes it experienced. Not everybody had a great summer in 1967, but the boomers expressing themselves on TV or radio (create) a strong, positive perception of Expo 67." Nostalgia is a valuable commodity in politics. Candidates who campaign on a platform of change usually depict their promises through the prism of the past. U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama hearkens to a day when the United States was economically strong and enjoyed the world's respect and opponent John McCain speaks of a simpler age when ordinary people had a role in determining what direction their country took. How much truth exists in either version of the past is debatable, but it makes for good oratory. Locally, where the political stakes may be less, the good old days aren't hard to locate. After 30 years of economic decline, an exodus of taxpayers to the suburbs and political trench warfare that pitted separatists against federalists, Montreal politicians in the here and now are hard pressed to rally the electorate to the promise of a better tomorrow. They've decided, instead, to stake their political futures on the memory of a better yesterday - in fact, a very specific collection of yesterdays from April 27 to Oct. 29, 1967, the golden days of Expo and a mayor named Jean Drapeau. The latest example occurred last week, when municipal opposition leader Benoit Labonté announced that he wanted Montrealers to work together to submit their city as a candidate to host the Universal Exposition for 2020. Brandishing a pair of passports from Expo 67, Labonté said the fair evokes memories of "the greatness of Montreal ... of a time when everything seemed possible. "The future seemed to belong to us, and it was probably the biggest moment of collective pride felt by Montrealers in the 20th century." Arguing that a second exposition could jump-start Montreal as a world class metropolis, Labonté invited all Montrealers - including Mayor Gérald Tremblay- to join in an effort to bring the show here. While some news organizations reported that Labonté's plan seemed to come out of the blue, the opposition leader had hinted broadly at it during an interview with The Gazette in May, saying that Montrealers needed a common cause they could focus their energies on and noting that the last time such a sentiment existed here was between Expo 67 and the 1976 summer Olympics. Whatever the genesis of Labonté's invitation, it was dismissed by city hall three hours after being made. "We like to dream with our eyes open," said Montreal executive committee member Alan De Sousa, describing Labonté's plan as "an electoral balloon." De Sousa's response wasn't totally unexpected, but it ignored the fact that pointing to the Drapeau-era as an inspiration for the future isn't a ploy invented by the municipal opposition. Tremblay has never spoken publicly about staging another world's fair here, but three years ago he did float the idea of luring another major event from the Drapeau-era back to Montreal. In August 2005 and flushed by the apparent success of the World Aquatics Championships, Tremblay mused that "Montreal will not wait another 30 years to renew acquaintances with the world," and that the city would "think" about bidding for the 2016 Olympic Games. Even though the idea went over like a lead balloon, the mayor's reverence for the Montreal of a generation ago came to the fore in speeches given during the 40th anniversary of Expo 67. "We owe to Jean Drapeau a great part of Montreal's recognition and international growth," Tremblay told a Board of Trade lunch as a slide show of Expo 67 pavilions flickered behind him. "Expo was a great project that marked our history and our imagination - an audacious project, the expression of an immense confidence in ourselves, in our capacity to create and invent." Even Projet Montréal, an opposition party holding one seat on city council and an equal amount of contempt for Tremblay and Labonté's policies, isn't immune from the lure of Expo. Party leader Richard Bergeron once observing that if Drapeau had dithered as much as the present administration, "the métro would never have been built." But while Linteau acknowledges that changes were afoot in Montreal and Quebec in 1967, it would be a mistake to think it was a magical time for Montreal. "The '60s were exceptional years," he says. "It was the Kennedy years in the United States. "We often look only at what Quebec was going through, but we were in the middle of a universe in transition." In fact, while the year may be remembered through rose-coloured mists, the reality was that the bloom was already leaving this city. Linteau acknowledges the optimism of the time - "when you consider all the projects that were being proposed, we thought there'd be 7 million people living in Montreal by 1980, that there would be 15 million visitors at Montreal airport by the end of the 1970s." But, he adds, "that optimism was quickly deflated because Expo occurred about the same time the decline of Montreal began. "Drapeau didn't care. Economic development and things of that nature were too trivial for him. He didn't notice our being overtaken by Toronto which, even by 1960, had passed Montreal as a major metropolis." Linteau notes that people usually like to be a part of something bigger than themselves. "A lot of humanity's monuments are the result of policies of grandeur and waste," he says. "Big projects are a bit megalomanical, but they get things moving, create change. "What's certain is that it's been a long while since we had that kind of project in Montreal. Just look at the bickering over the superhospitals." [email protected]
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