Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'society'.



More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Forums

  • Real estate projects
    • Proposals
    • Going up
    • Completed
    • Mass Transit
    • Infrastructures
    • Cultural, entertainment and sport projects
    • Cancelled projects
  • General topics
    • City planning and architecture
    • Economy discussions
    • Technology, video games and gadgets
    • Urban tech
    • General discussions
    • Entertainment, food and culture
    • Current events
    • Off Topic
  • MTLYUL Aviation
    • General discussion
    • Spotting at YUL
  • Here and abroad
    • City of Québec
    • Around the province of Québec.
    • Toronto and the rest of Canada
    • USA
    • Europe
    • Projects elsewhere in the world
  • Photography and videos
    • Urban photography
    • Other pictures
    • Old pictures

Calendars

There are no results to display.

There are no results to display.

Blogs

There are no results to display.

There are no results to display.


Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

Joined

  • Start

    End


Group


About Me


Biography


Location


Interests


Occupation


Type of dwelling

Found 11 results

  1. Six Canadian cities out of 50 have the winning combination that attract migrants * Six Canadian cities out of 50 have the winning combination that attract migrants Calgary, Waterloo, Ottawa, Vancouver, St. John’s and Richmond Hill have what migrants are looking for when choosing where to locate, according to the Conference Board’s second report assessing the attractiveness of Canadian cities. Read the report here. “Cities that fail to attract new people will struggle to stay prosperous and vibrant,” said Mario Lefebvre, Director, Centre for Municipal Studies. “These six cities come out on top across all rankings, so they appear to have an overall winning combination that is attractive to migrants. Although it would be hard to imagine a more diverse group of cities, each has particular strengths that make them magnets to newcomers, both from within Canada and abroad.” City Magnets II: Benchmarking the Attractiveness of 50 Canadian Cities, analyzes and benchmarks the features that make Canadian cities attractive to skilled workers and mobile populations. The performance of these cities is compared on 41 indicators grouped across seven categories: Society, Health, Economy, Environment, Education, Innovation, and Housing. The challenge in determining overall attractiveness is that when individuals are choosing a new city, they value attributes of city living differently. Weights were computed for each of the seven categories. For migrants with a university degree, the Education category matters the most (21 per cent) in the decision to locate, followed by Society (20 per cent), Innovation (19 per cent) and Economy (13 per cent). Migrants without a university education consider, in an overwhelming fashion, that the Economy category matters the most (33 per cent) and followed by Society (20 per cent). “In deciding where to live, university-educated migrants prefer cities with higher Education and Society outcomes. Migrants without a university education place more value on a city’s economic strength,” said Lefebvre. “However, the study shows that a city that is attractive to a certain type of migrant ends up being attractive to all, so policy makers must be cautious in crafting policies aimed at attracting university graduates only.” Overall Grades The six “A” performers – Calgary, Waterloo, Ottawa, Vancouver, St. John’s and Richmond Hill, Ont. – range between big and small cities, from the West Coast to the East Coast, and include both urban and suburban centres. Specifically: * Calgary’s strong economic results come as no surprise given its performance over the past decade, but the city also ranked first in Innovation and second in Housing. * Waterloo’s worldwide reputation for high-tech excellence in education and business is well deserved. Ranked number-one in Education, Waterloo also posted strong results in Economy, Innovation and Housing. * Ottawa reaps the benefits of a strong and well-educated public sector. The nation’s capital excels in Innovation and Education, and, apart from Health, scores well across all categories. * Richmond Hill, a fast-growing city north of Toronto, has become the second most diverse city in Canada. A well-educated workforce contributes to its high scores in the Education and Innovation categories. * Vancouver enjoys an enviable climate and a vibrancy that comes from its young, diverse, and multicultural population. * St. John’s has achieved a strong productivity level that even surpasses that of Calgary and Edmonton. It is also a stellar performer in Health and Environment categories. The “B” class includes 14 cities – Edmonton, Victoria, Markham, Vaughan, Kingston, Oakville, and Guelph are consistently in the top half of this group. The City of Toronto also earns an overall “B” grade. Although held back by lacklustre results in the Health and Environment categories (too few physicians for such a large population, and too many days of poor air quality), the City of Toronto leads all cities in the Society category, particularly the proportion of foreign-born population and the proportion of population employed in cultural occupations. In all, the Toronto census metropolitan area (CMA) obtains five of the top 14 spots. The Toronto CMA attracted 35 per cent of Canada’s immigrants (about 85,000 per year) between 2001 and 2006, but this is partly offset by migrants – 25,000 annually – leaving for other Canadian cities. London, Halifax, Lévis, Regina, Québec City, and Burlington also receive “B” grades. A total of 21 cities get “C” grades, including three of Canada’s largest urban centres: Winnipeg, Montréal, and Hamilton. Although an overall “C”, Mississauga – with its high number of immigrants – gets a “B” in attractiveness among university-educated migrants. Four of Vancouver’s suburbs – Richmond, Burnaby, Coquitlam, and Surrey – earn “C” grades, as does nearby Abbotsford. Generally, Vancouver’s suburbs lag behind in Health and Economy. Sherbrooke, Gatineau, Kitchener, Barrie, Saskatoon, Moncton, Brampton, Kelowna, Thunder Bay, Peterborough, St. Catharines, and Sudbury also get “C” grades. The “D” class includes nine small or mid-sized cities – four in Ontario: Oshawa, Brantford, Windsor, and Cambridge; four in Quebec: Longueuil, Saguenay, Trois-Rivières, and Laval, and Saint John, New Brunswick. Along with struggling economies in most cases, seven of these nine cities have shown little population growth, while the other two posted a decline in population (Saint John and Saguenay). These nine cities are also clustered near the bottom of the Innovation and Education categories. Performance By Category * Society – Canada’s largest cities post the best results, with Toronto and Montreal capturing the only two “A” grades. Toronto’s suburbs rank highly, as do Vancouver and Victoria. * Health – Small and mid-sized cities dominate this category, which mainly measures per capita access to care. Only Kingston and St. John’s get “A” grades. Vancouver and Quebec City are the only big cities to rank in the top 10. Suburban cities, which rely on services located in the urban cores, face the greatest challenges – 10 of the bottom 12 are neighbours of either Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver. * Economy – Although the rankings are based on 2006 data and pre-date the recession, the Conference Board expects cities with strong economies back then to rebound and post the strongest showing following the downturn. Calgary, Edmonton and Vaughan earn the only “A” grades in the ranking; Edmonton’s strong economy makes it particularly attractive to non-university educated migrants. Five Toronto-area suburbs make the top 10. Ottawa and Waterloo also rank in the top 10. * Environment – Seven of the eight cities in British Columbia included in this report earn “A” grades and dominate the top 10 rankings, due largely to good air quality and a mild climate. Montreal ranks last and Longueuil is also near the bottom. Mississauga, Burlington, Vaughan and Oakville also earn “D” grades. * Education – The “university towns” of Waterloo and Kingston outclass their counterparts and earn the only two “A” grades. Small and mid-sized cities dominate the results for teachers per student population, with four small Ontario cities (Burlington, Waterloo, Peterborough and Guelph) grabbing all the “A” grades on this indicator. * Innovation – Calgary, Richmond Hill and Ottawa get “As” for Innovation. Cities with broad manufacturing or resource-based economies generally fare less well in this category. * Housing – Small and mid-sized cities generally do the best in this category, thanks in particular to relatively affordable housing. The Quebec City suburb of Lévis leads all cities, and five other Quebec cities rank in the top 10. The opposite is true for all eight B.C. cities, where homes are generally expensive. As a result, these cities fall in the bottom half of the rankings and five of them, including Victoria and the Lower Mainland cities, get “D” grades. http://www.muchmormagazine.com/2010/01/six-canadian-cities-out-of-50-have-the-winning-combination-that-attract-migrants/
  2. Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/CSIS+boss+cites+worrisome+terrorist+trend/3015056/story.html#ixzz0ngxLANsG Quite alarming news. All I can say is that their (and their family's) citizenship should be withdrawn immediately, and they should be given trials as soon as possible. If they are deemed to be a threat to society, then we send 'em to Gitmo. If they are just radical Muslims (but non-violent), deport them back to wherever it is they came from.
  3. Toronto's two solitudes: Poor city beside rich city Nov 20, 2008 04:30 AM Comments on this story (3) David Hulchanski "We heard as well about parents whose struggle to hold down two or three jobs leaves them with no time or energy to parent, of youth being humiliated by the obviousness of their poverty, of the impact of precarious and substandard housing on their ability to study and learn and engage with friends, and about the numerous other daily stresses of living on the margins of a prosperous society." – Review of the Roots of Youth Violence, Vol. 1, p. 31. We learned last week that among the roots of youth violence is the lack of good jobs – jobs that support a family, jobs that support an average lifestyle, jobs that support good quality housing. Though we already knew this, as a society we need to stop moving in the opposite direction. It wasn't too long ago that our language did not include terms like "good jobs," "bad jobs" or "the working poor." How could you work and be poor? Many people today are working more than full-time and are poor. They have no choice but to live in the growing number of very poor neighbourhoods. Money buys choice. Many neighbourhoods are becoming poor in the sense that most of the residents are living in poverty, and poor in the sense that housing, public services and transit access are all inferior relative to the rest of the city. The growing polarization between rich and poor is happening in part because of the loss of average, middle-income jobs. There used to be far fewer concentrations of disadvantage in Toronto. In the early 1970s about two-thirds of the City of Toronto's neighbourhoods (66 per cent) were middle-income – within 20 per cent of the average individual in-come of the metropolitan area. By 2005, the middle income group of neighbourhoods had declined to less than one-third (29 per cent). The trend is the same in the communities around the city's boundaries – the 905 area. The number of middle-income neighbourhoods declined by 25 per cent, from 86 per cent to 61 per cent, during the same period. Now 20 per cent of the neighbourhoods in the 905 area have very low average individual incomes, compared to none in 1970. This income polarization – the decline of the middle group with growth in the two extreme poles – is not only a general trend among Toronto's population, but it also is the basis of where we live. The City of Toronto is now divided into increasingly distinct zones. One zone of tremendous wealth and prosperity, about 20 per cent of the city, is located mainly along the Yonge corridor and stretching east and west along Bloor and Danforth. Average household income was $170,000 in 2005, 82 per cent of the population is white, only 4 per cent are recent immigrants (arriving 2001 to 2006), and only 2 per cent are black. Some of these neighbourhoods are more white and had fewer foreign-born residents in 2005 than in 1995. In contrast, there is a huge zone of concentrated disadvantage. It is still located in part in the traditional inner-city neighbourhoods, but now is also in the inner suburbs, the car-oriented areas built during the 1960s and 1970s. This is 40 per cent of the city, about 1.1 million people. Close to one-third of residents live in poverty (are below the low-income cut-off measure used by the federal government). Only 34 per cent are white, 15 per cent are recent immigrants, and 12 per cent are black. Federal and provincial economic policies, while seemingly abstract and high-level, play themselves out on the ground in our neighbourhoods. Paying a growing segment of the population wages that do not support individuals, let along families, at a basic standard of living and a fundamental level of dignity is not sustainable. The now well-documented rise in income inequality, income polarization and ethnocultural and skin colour segregation are city-destroying trends. They are trends produced by commission and omission, by public and private sector decisions. We need to use our regulatory power for the common good to focus on improving the labour market through measures like a living wage and providing people with a voice in working conditions via a fairer path to unionization. One-sided policy-making is not only generating greater disadvantage, it is destroying the city as a great place to live and work. Nothing is trickling down. The city is increasingly segregating itself as the social distance between rich and poor increases. Immigrants are arriving in a very different economy than they did 30 and 40 years ago. A recent Statistics Canada study concludes, for example, "that the wage gap between newly hired employees and other employees has been widening over the past two decades," the "relative importance of temporary jobs has increased substantially among newly hired employees," and that compared with "the early 1980s, fewer male employees are now covered by a registered pension plan." In short, policies have allowed fewer jobs to pay a living wage with good benefits. This did not happen by accident. It is not only possible but essential that we have an economy with good jobs with at least a minimum living wage for all. We need public policies that support the goals of a just and inclusive society, and we have to ensure that the use of political power benefits the common good. These are key goals of the Good Jobs Coalition and form the agenda for Saturday's Good Jobs Summit. They are essential to reversing the city-destroying trends at work in Toronto today. David Hulchanski is a University of Toronto professor and author of the report The Three Cities within Toronto. This is one of a series of essays created for the Good Jobs Summit, which takes place Nov. 22 in Toronto.
  4. My mother was telling me today at work, that people complained about "Remembrance Day". They consider it a federalist holiday She works for Margaret Bourgeois school board. I honestly have no clue how some people can be so stupid. I just wish those people would get fired from their jobs. They shouldn't have a right to work for the government or be teaching. Goes to show how dumb some people are in the education system. If these people don't want to remember family members or their friends for what they have done. They shouldn't be part of this society and go live somewhere else. There is a few other choice words I would love to say, but I have to keep this civilized.
  5. YANKEEDOM. Founded on the shores of Massachusetts Bay by radical Calvinists as a new Zion, Yankeedom has, since the outset, put great emphasis on perfecting earthly civilization through social engineering, denial of self for the common good, and assimilation of outsiders. It has prized education, intellectual achievement, communal empowerment, and broad citizen participation in politics and government, the latter seen as the public’s shield against the machinations of grasping aristocrats and other would-be tyrants. Since the early Puritans, it has been more comfortable with government regulation and public-sector social projects than many of the other nations, who regard the Yankee utopian streak with trepidation. NEW NETHERLAND. Established by the Dutch at a time when the Netherlands was the most sophisticated society in the Western world, New Netherland has always been a global commercial culture—materialistic, with a profound tolerance for ethnic and religious diversity and an unflinching commitment to the freedom of inquiry and conscience. Like seventeenth-century Amsterdam, it emerged as a center of publishing, trade, and finance, a magnet for immigrants, and a refuge for those persecuted by other regional cultures, from Sephardim in the seventeenth century to gays, feminists, and bohemians in the early twentieth. Unconcerned with great moral questions, it nonetheless has found itself in alliance with Yankeedom to defend public institutions and reject evangelical prescriptions for individual behavior. THE MIDLANDS. America’s great swing region was founded by English Quakers, who believed in humans’ inherent goodness and welcomed people of many nations and creeds to their utopian colonies like Pennsylvania on the shores of Delaware Bay. Pluralistic and organized around the middle class, the Midlands spawned the culture of Middle America and the Heartland, where ethnic and ideological purity have never been a priority, government has been seen as an unwelcome intrusion, and political opinion has been moderate. An ethnic mosaic from the start—it had a German, rather than British, majority at the time of the Revolution—it shares the Yankee belief that society should be organized to benefit ordinary people, though it rejects top-down government intervention. TIDEWATER. Built by the younger sons of southern English gentry in the Chesapeake country and neighboring sections of Delaware and North Carolina, Tidewater was meant to reproduce the semifeudal society of the countryside they’d left behind. Standing in for the peasantry were indentured servants and, later, slaves. Tidewater places a high value on respect for authority and tradition, and very little on equality or public participation in politics. It was the most powerful of the American nations in the eighteenth century, but today it is in decline, partly because it was cut off from westward expansion by its boisterous Appalachian neighbors and, more recently, because it has been eaten away by the expanding federal halos around D.C. and Norfolk. GREATER APPALACHIA. Founded in the early eighteenth century by wave upon wave of settlers from the war-ravaged borderlands of Northern Ireland, northern England, and the Scottish lowlands, Appalachia has been lampooned by writers and screenwriters as the home of hillbillies and rednecks. It transplanted a culture formed in a state of near constant danger and upheaval, characterized by a warrior ethic and a commitment to personal sovereignty and individual liberty. Intensely suspicious of lowland aristocrats and Yankee social engineers alike, Greater Appalachia has shifted alliances depending on who appeared to be the greatest threat to their freedom. It was with the Union in the Civil War. Since Reconstruction, and especially since the upheavals of the 1960s, it has joined with Deep South to counter federal overrides of local preference. DEEP SOUTH. Established by English slave lords from Barbados, Deep South was meant as a West Indies–style slave society. This nation offered a version of classical Republicanism modeled on the slave states of the ancient world, where democracy was the privilege of the few and enslavement the natural lot of the many. Its caste systems smashed by outside intervention, it continues to fight against expanded federal powers, taxes on capital and the wealthy, and environmental, labor, and consumer regulations. EL NORTE. The oldest of the American nations, El Norte consists of the borderlands of the Spanish American empire, which were so far from the seats of power in Mexico City and Madrid that they evolved their own characteristics. Most Americans are aware of El Norte as a place apart, where Hispanic language, culture, and societal norms dominate. But few realize that among Mexicans, norteños have a reputation for being exceptionally independent, self-sufficient, adaptable, and focused on work. Long a hotbed of democratic reform and revolutionary settlement, the region encompasses parts of Mexico that have tried to secede in order to form independent buffer states between their mother country and the United States. THE LEFT COAST. A Chile-shaped nation wedged between the Pacific Ocean and the Cascade and Coast mountains, the Left Coast was originally colonized by two groups: New Englanders (merchants, missionaries, and woodsmen who arrived by sea and dominated the towns) and Appalachian midwesterners (farmers, prospectors, and fur traders who generally arrived by wagon and controlled the countryside). Yankee missionaries tried to make it a “New England on the Pacific,” but were only partially successful. Left Coast culture is a hybrid of Yankee utopianism and Appalachian self-expression and exploration—traits recognizable in its cultural production, from the Summer of Love to the iPad. The staunchest ally of Yankeedom, it clashes with Far Western sections in the interior of its home states. THE FAR WEST. The other “second-generation” nation, the Far West occupies the one part of the continent shaped more by environmental factors than ethnographic ones. High, dry, and remote, the Far West stopped migrating easterners in their tracks, and most of it could be made habitable only with the deployment of vast industrial resources: railroads, heavy mining equipment, ore smelters, dams, and irrigation systems. As a result, settlement was largely directed by corporations headquartered in distant New York, Boston, Chicago, or San Francisco, or by the federal government, which controlled much of the land. The Far West’s people are often resentful of their dependent status, feeling that they have been exploited as an internal colony for the benefit of the seaboard nations. Their senators led the fight against trusts in the mid-twentieth century. Of late, Far Westerners have focused their anger on the federal government, rather than their corporate masters. NEW FRANCE. Occupying the New Orleans area and southeastern Canada, New France blends the folkways of ancien régime northern French peasantry with the traditions and values of the aboriginal people they encountered in northwestern North America. After a long history of imperial oppression, its people have emerged as down-to-earth, egalitarian, and consensus driven, among the most liberal on the continent, with unusually tolerant attitudes toward gays and people of all races and a ready acceptance of government involvement in the economy. The New French influence is manifest in Canada, where multiculturalism and negotiated consensus are treasured. FIRST NATION. First Nation is populated by native American groups that generally never gave up their land by treaty and have largely retained cultural practices and knowledge that allow them to survive in this hostile region on their own terms. The nation is now reclaiming its sovereignty, having won considerable autonomy in Alaska and Nunavut and a self-governing nation state in Greenland that stands on the threshold of full independence. Its territory is huge—far larger than the continental United States—but its population is less than 300,000, most of whom live in Canada. http://www.tufts.edu/alumni/magazine/fall2013/features/up-in-arms.html
  6. Very interesting opinion on the current state employment trend http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/05/digital-economy-work-for-free Merci au site MTLCity pour cette suggestion: http://w5.montreal.com/mtlweblog/?p=27514&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
  7. Launch of the Institut de politiques alternatives de Montréal A think tank is created to shed light on urban planning and development policy in Montréal. MONTREAL, Oct. 14 /CNW Telbec/ - Phyllis Lambert, architect, Founding Director and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the CCA, Dimitri Roussopoulos, founder of the Montréal Urban Ecology Centre, and Dinu Bumbaru, Policy Director of Héritage Montréal, announced today the creation of a think tank, the Institut de politiques alternatives de Montréal (IPAM). This citizens' initiative seeks to contribute to viable urban planning in Montréal, to its economic and sustainable development, and local democracy. As an independent and multidisciplinary organisation, IPAM has been formed to play a key role over the long term in the municipal debate on policy choices leading to an equitable and prosperous society. The economic, social and ecological challenges to urban development require an open-minded dialogue accessible to all sectors of Montréal society. IPAM is created as a think tank, a research centre, and an open public forum where different publics can meet, exchange ideas, and debate. It will act to provide a way for civil society to contribute its own innovative solutions alongside those of municipal bodies to help shape Montréal's long-term future. "The considerable impact of economic development in the City of Montréal and the megaprojects it has proposed, clearly indicate that we are currently at a major crossroad," said Phyllis Lambert. "The establishment of IPAM is essential: for it is clear that everyone that makes up the city's civil society must understand and agree on a definition and parameters of city planning, and they must share a clear vision of their rightful place in a permanent, constructive, democratic and effective dialogue with political decision-makers." An independent, multidisciplinary, and inclusive organisation, IPAM's purpose is to play a key role in the municipal debate on policy choices leading to an equitable and prosperous society. IPAM's intention is to contribute the expertise of individuals from different spheres within the community. "By combining the strengths and expertise of a wide range of specialists in complementary fields of activity both locally and from elsewhere, including university research, business, socioeconomics, neighbourhood roundtables, ethnic communities, and environmental NGOs, we will create a centre of reference composed of people who will mobilise around issue of sociology, economy, democracy and physical planning related to urban development and recommend courses of action for the municipal administration in each of these areas," added Dimitri Roussopoulos. According to Dinu Bumbaru, "With the City about to update the Urban Master Plan, Montreal needs a framework that integrates urban planning, economic planning and sustainable development, which is why IPAM will establish six working groups to tackle questions of long-term economic and cultural development: heritage, poverty, social housing and social justice, ecology, urban planning and transportation, and democracy." IPAM's work will concentrate on the following two activities: - Dissemination information and holding public debates by organizing public forums, conferences and seminars concerning a great variety of challenges in urban planning. - Monitoring the municipal administration's activities through annual evaluation of the annual reports of the Ville de Montréal on urban planning, and of the Office de consultation publique de Montréal, and the Ombudsman's report. As a first initiative IPAM will, the day after the elections, call on the new City Administration to hold a citizens' summit on the future of Montréal in partnership with civil society, permitting an exchange of ideas and experience, in order to help to establish the guidelines for the administration's new mandate. For further information: Louise Constantin, IPAM, (514) 769-4553, [email protected]; Isabelle Huiban, Press Relations, Office of Phyllis Lambert, (514) 222-4307, [email protected]
  8. There really is a 'nous,' and it includes us The Gazette Published: Saturday, July 12 Summer is a much-longed-for season in Quebec, but one that is rarely productive from the point of view of fraternal feeling. By the time we get past St. Jean Baptiste day and July 1, whatever communal spirit the hockey playoffs have generated between francophones and anglophones has become a little frayed. Competitive parade-going is not an exercise calculated to bind a society closer together. This year had additional challenges to solidarity, with the tensions aroused by the Bouchard-Taylor Commission report and that stylized politicians' re-enactment of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham over the federal role in the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec City. So it was a remarkable pleasure to learn, this week, that the linguistic, cultural and social divergences that seem to flare up so often are, according to academic researchers, basically insignificant. A new study has found that there are very few important differences in attitudes between francophones and anglophones in Quebec. Anglos here are far more like francophones than we are like anglophones in the rest of Canada or in the United States. Writing in the U.S. Journal of Social Psychology, researchers from Bishop's University conclude that Quebecers, no matter what their mother tongue, show comparable open mindedness and emotional stability and are equally productive on the job, careful, attentive and agreeable. A couple of stereotypes do remain true to some degree, the psychologists said of their sample of 50 francophones and 50 anglophones: anglophones are slightly more conservative. But centuries of living together have not only made us similar, but have also given us something of a distinct personality. That's a real "us," all of us, francophone and anglophone alike. The study authors say there are three distinct personality/culture areas in North America: Quebec; the U.S. South; the rest of Canada and the U.S. combined. In Quebec, we have opted for a system of social solidarity. Elsewhere, the preference is for a more individualistic, free-market approach to building a society. Quebec anglophones are not different from their francophone compatriots in that regard. The researchers think that because we share the same physical place and same lifestyle, we have come to share similar attitudes in many matters. This is good news, if only we could hear it. It means the weary identity politics which some use in an effort to divide us have little firm foundation. We can all get along.
  9. Time for Quebecers to be more open: report Shake off angst. Get used to living in globalized society, Bouchard-Taylor report urges JEFF HEINRICH The Gazette Saturday, May 17, 2008 Learn more English, be nicer to Muslims, get better informed. Those are just some of the ways the unhappy French-Canadian majority in Quebec can shake off its angst about minorities and help build a truly open society in a globalized world, say the authors of a much-anticipated report for the Liberal government on the "reasonable accommodation" of minorities. In several chapters of the final draft obtained by The Gazette, Gérard Bouchard and Charles Taylor argue the "discontent of a large part of the population" over demands by Muslims, Jews and other religious minorities "seems to us the result of partial information and false perceptions." The chairpersons of the $5-million commission address a number of what they call "unfounded objections" to the role of religion in Quebec society, mostly voiced by old-stock francophones during three months of highly publicized hearings last fall. Rebutting those objections, Bouchard, a prominent Chicoutimi sociologist and historian, and Taylor, a world-renowned Montreal philosopher, lay out their vision of a new Quebec coming to terms with kirpans, hijabs, kosher food and other expressions of non-Christian cultures. In Quebec, they say, everyone should feel welcome and the majority should no longer feel under threat by newcomers. "We think it is possible to re-concile Quebecers - franco-phones and others - with practices of harmonization, once it has been shown that: a) these practices respect our society's fundamental values, notably the equality of men and women. b) they don't aim to create privileges but, rather, equality that is well understood and that respects everyone's rights. c) they encourage integration and not marginalization. d) they're framed by guidelines and protected against spiralling out of control. e) they're founded on the principle of reciprocity. f) they don't play the game of fundamentalism. g) they don't compromise the gains of the Quiet Revolution." The final draft is dated March 19, two weeks before the commission announced on its website that the writing of the report was finished and that, after adding a series of recommendations, proofreading the document and translating it into English, it would be sent to the printers. The official report is now in the hands of Premier Jean Charest, who is to present it to cabinet on Wednesday. After a budget-style "lock-up" behind closed doors for journalists Friday morning, the commissioners will hold a news conference to discuss their findings. Broken down into half-a-dozen parts, the voluminous report has more than a dozen chapters and almost as many annexes consisting of a series of research reports, independently produced under special order by the commission. Their subjects relate to the accommodation debate, including media coverage, ethnic ghettos and French-language training for immigrants. In their report, Bouchard and Taylor - but mainly Bouchard, who did the bulk of the writing, insiders say- argue that the responsibility for open-mindedness and desire for change lie mainly with one people: the French Canadians themselves. "It's principally from this milieu that the crisis arose," the commissioners write, adding that many French Canadians "have a strong feeling of insecurity for the survival of their culture." They fear losing their "values, language, tradition and customs" and of eventually "disappearing" entirely as a French-speaking minority in North America. Self-doubt and "the fear of the Other" - are "the two great hindrances from the French-Canadian past," the commissioners write. "In the past, the threat came mainly from the anglophone. Before that, it was the lifestyle brought on by industrialization. Today, for many, it's the immigrant." What Quebec now faces is not the traditional "deux solitudes" of French and English, but rather "deux inquiètudes" - the twin anxieties of the majority and the new minorities, the commissioners say. The "members of a strong ethnocultural majority fear being submerged by minorities who themselves are fragile and worried about the future, especially immigrants trying to find their feet in their adoptive society," write the scholars, who in footnotes liberally quote from oral testimony as well as written briefs presented at the hearings last fall. Bouchard and Taylor also compare Quebec's immigration situation with that of other provinces, noting that Quebec has far fewer immigrants (11.5 per cent per capita, compared with 28 per cent in Ontario and British Columbia, and 16 per cent in Alberta) and far fewer ethnocultural minorities generally (21 per cent in metropolitan Montreal vs. 46 per cent in Toronto and 40 per cent in Vancouver). Quebec's accommodation crisis dates to March 2006, when the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in favour of a Montreal Sikh teenager who wanted to keep wearing his kirpan, the traditional ceremonial dagger of baptized orthodox Sikh men, to school. A series of media-fuelled controversies over demands for accommodation by religious minorities followed. For example: The Association of Maritime Employers agreed to re-examine its workplace rules after orthodox Sikh truck drivers objected to wearing safety helmets instead of their turbans at the Port of Montreal. A Montreal YMCA frosted the windows of an exercise room so that ultraorthodox Jewish neighbours wouldn't have to watch women exercising. And Montreal policewomen were advised in a training brochure to let their male colleagues take charge when visiting Hasidic neighborhoods. The "scandals" came to a head in January 2007 with the publication of a "code of life" by the village council of Hérouxville in the Mauricie region, in which foreigners were advised that public stonings and female circumcision were not allowed in the community. Faced with the polemic over that declaration and fearing unrest over immigrants and religious minorities on the eve of a provincial election campaign, Charest quickly announced the formation of a special commission to look into accommodations and defuse the crisis: the Bouchard-Taylor commission. In their report, the commissioners say that in hindsight the accommodation crisis was largely a media phenomenon - but, they add, it was no invention. "The media didn't create the crisis over accommodations, but their message fell on fertile ground." Elsewhere, they call on the media to show more "self-discipline" and rigour in reporting on ethnic communities and their representatives, some of whom - like deported Tunisian imam Saïd Jaziri - got wide coverage despite having little or no credibility. Although "what has happened in Quebec sometimes gives the impression of being a showdown between two groups of minorities (French Canadians and the ethnic minorities), each of whom wants the other to accommodate it," there are many ways to avoid a fatal confrontation, the commissioners say. People should get used to the idea that "Quebec is made up of diverse ethnic groups, each of which, as is its right and in its own way, cultivates its own memory" - in other words, none is more valuable than the other. The two commissioners - who each collected a salary of $380,000 for their work - also: Declare themselves in favour of more funding for community groups that try to bring cultures together. Argue against race-based projects that segregate people from mainstream society (such as a proposed all-black school). Lament the "wasted careers" of foreign professionals who can't find work here because their credentials aren't recognized. Deplore that only three per cent of Quebec public-service jobs are held by immigrants, "one of the worst situations in North America." Blame the Quebec media for being generally "very 'old-stock,' very 'white' (and) by consequence, they broadcast an often biased image of a (multicultural) reality that a lot of people don't know well enough." But Bouchard and Taylor also - surprisingly - come to the defence of Hérouxville, which made headlines around the world. "In a very awkward and excessive way, the Hérouxville text expressed a tension, an ambivalence many French-Canadian Quebecers have," the commissioners write. Finally, they make a plea for better understanding of Quebec's Muslims, "who only make up two per cent of the Quebec population, about 130,000 people," who are "massively francophone and highly educated," who are "among the least devoutly religious of all immigrants," and who are "the least ghettoized" geographically in Montreal. "The way to overcome Islamophobia is to get closer to Muslims, not to run away from them," the commissioners state. "Mistrust breeds mistrust. Just like fear, it winds up feeding on itself." [email protected] thegazette.canwest.com SOUNDOFF! How has reasonable accommodation affected your life? What do you think of the Bouchard-Taylor findings? Do they go far enough in addressing concerns about the state of minorities in Quebec? What other issues do you think should have been addressed? Share your views and catch up on stories and testimonials from the hearings at montrealgazette.com © The Gazette (Montreal) 2008
  10. More Quebecers see immigrants as threat: poll By Marian Scott, The GazetteMay 22, 2009 6:59 Protesters demonstrate outside Palais des congrès during the Bouchard-Taylor hearings on reasonable accommodation in November 2007. Protesters demonstrate outside Palais des congrès during the Bouchard-Taylor hearings on reasonable accommodation in November 2007. Photograph by: John Kenney, Gazette file photo One year after a provincial report on the accommodation of cultural minorities, a majority of Quebecers still say newcomers should give up their cultural traditions and become more like everybody else, according to a new poll. Quebecers’ attitudes toward immigrants have hardened slightly since 2007, when the Bouchard-Taylor commission started hearings across Quebec on the “reasonable accommodation” of cultural communities. The survey by Léger Marketing for the Association for Canadian Studies found that 40 per cent of francophones view non-Christian immigrants as a threat to Quebec society, compared with 32 per cent in 2007. Thirty-two per cent of non-francophones said non-Christian immigrants threaten Quebec society, compared with 34 per cent in 2007. “If you look at opinions at the start of the Bouchard-Taylor commission and 18 months later, basically, they haven’t changed,” said Jack Jedwab, executive director of the non-profit research institute. “If the hearings were designed to change attitudes, that has not occurred,” he added. Headed by sociologist Gérard Bouchard and philosopher Charles Taylor, the $3.7-million commission held hearings across Quebec on how far society should go to accommodate religious and cultural minorities. It received 900 briefs and heard from 3,423 participants in 22 regional forums. Its report, made public one year ago Friday, made 37 recommendations, including abolishing prayers at municipal council meetings; increasing funding for community organizations that work with immigrants and initiatives to promote tolerance; providing language interpreters in health care; encouraging employers to allow time off for religious holidays; studying how to hire more minorities in the public service; and attracting immigrants to remote regions. Rachad Antonius, a professor of sociology at the Université du Québec à Montréal, said it’s no surprise the commission failed to change Quebecers’ attitudes toward minorities. “Focusing on cultural differences is the wrong approach,” Antonius said. Cultural communities need to achieve economic equality by having access to education, social services and job opportunities, he said. “If there is greater economic integration, that is what is going to change things,” he said. The poll reveals persistent differences between younger and older Quebecers and between francophones and non-francophones on cultural and religious diversity. For example, 56 per cent of respondents age 18 to 24 said Muslim girls should be allowed to wear hijabs in public schools, while only 30 per cent of those 55 and over approved of head scarves in school. Sixty-three per cent of non-francophones said head scarves should be permitted in school compared with 32 per cent of French-speaking respondents. Only 25 per cent of francophones said Quebec society should try harder to accept minority groups’ customs and traditions while 74 per cent of non-francophones said it should make more of an effort to do so. The poll also found Quebecers split on an ethics and religion course introduced last year in schools across the province. A coalition of parents and Loyola High School, a private Catholic institution, are challenging the nondenominational course, which they say infringes parents’ rights to instill religious values in their children. Half of francophones said the course was a good thing while 78 per cent of non-francophones gave it a thumbs up. When asked their opinion of different religious groups, 88 per cent of French-speakers viewed Catholics favourably, 60 per cent viewed Jews favourably – down 12 percentage points from 2007 – and 40 per cent had a favourable opinion of Muslims (compared with 57 per cent in 2007). Among non-francophones, 92 per cent viewed Catholics with favour, 77 per cent had a positive opinion of Jews and 65 a good opinion of Muslims. A national poll published this month by Maclean’s Magazine also revealed that many Canadians are biased against religious minorities, particularly in Quebec. The survey by Angus Reid Strategies reported that 68 per cent of Quebecers view Islam negatively while 52 per cent of Canadians as a whole have a low opinion of the religion. It found that 36 per cent of Quebecers view Judaism unfavourably, compared with 59 per cent of Ontarians. The Léger Marketing survey of 1,003 Quebecers was conducted by online questionnaire May 13-16. Results are considered accurate within 3.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. [email protected] © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette
  11. Je crois que cette discussion est approprié avec L'application possible de cette "charte des maleurs" et Barbara Kay dit tout haut ce que plusieurs Montrealais pense tout bas: Je suis a priori Montrealais dans une province qui n'est pas la mienne....pourquoi pas crée notre propre "cité-province"? http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/09/18/barbara-kay-the-case-for-the-city-state-of-montreal/ Barbara Kay: The case for the City-State of Montreal A few months ago, I appeared on a French language talk show as part of a diverse panel of politicians, aesthetes and chattering-class types to give our two-cents’ worth on Quebec political issues (Bill 14 was the hot topic then). Even though everyone else was a sovereigntist, I was warmly received; francophone media people truly appreciate anglo participation in such discussions. Dialogue proceeded in amiable fashion until I was asked if I considered myself a québécoise. “Non“, I unequivocally responded, “I consider myself a “montréalaise,” adding that Montreal was a distinct society within Quebec just as Quebec is a distinct society within Canada. Silence. The temperature of the room seemed instantly to go down 30 degrees. Every face around the table turned to stone. Stating the truth about Montreal to Quebec nationalists — that its character, needs and interests have little in common with those of the rest of Quebec (ROQ) and that, by implication, Montreal deserves special status — is simply a taboo. Related Kelly McParland: Quebec charter reflects values of small-minded separatists Barbara Kay: Accommodation of a different order Full Pundit: The Charter of Quebec Values — ‘Kafka, meet Monty Python’ Taboo no longer. Today there will be a press conference at a downtown Montreal hotel. There strategic consultant Michel David will make his long-researched case for Montreal as a city-state, a place in which counter-productive “values” charters and language laws would not apply, and where conditions favouring entrepreneurship, economic investment and skills recruitment would. David has been brooding over Montreal’s decline for decades. According to David’s just-released report, Montreal: City-State, Re-Inventing Our Governance, Montreal is the poorest city in North America with two million or more population (22nd of 22). It ranks 59th out of 60 jurisdictions for liberty, with the highest taxes and lowest level of entrepreneurship in Canada (50% of the Canadian average). Governance is authoritarian and disrespects individual rights. If Montreal is to regain its former glory, it will not happen under any of Quebec’s parties, all of them in numeric thrall to regional, ethnically homogeneous voters with no direct stake in Montreal’s fortunes. David concludes that only the political and economic autonomy conferred by special administrative status (SAS) — for which there is a precedent: the Cree of northern Quebec have self-governed their territories in collaboration with Quebec City for decades — can restore and surpass this once great city’s former entrepreneurial glory. A recently completed IPSOS survey surveyed 1,250 respondents on the island of Montreal (50%), the greater Montreal area (25%) and ROQ (25%) on Montreal’s current position and prospects and what should be done to improve the future of the city. It found that the idea of Montreal as a city state has wide appeal in the Montreal area. And even somewhat wide appeal in ROQ. Language laws were recognized as an impediment to Montreal’s prosperity, and 75% of Montrealers think ‘guaranteeing full bilingual status’ would help Across the board, close to 80% of respondents agreed that “Montreal has lost its prestige over the last few decades.” Only 54% across the board “would recommend Montreal as a place to start a business.” Only 46% of the ROQ felt that Montreal “should have more autonomy to make its own decisions for its future,” but 81% of Montrealers agreed they should. Yet 88% of ROQ and 92% of Montrealers agreed that “Montreal needs to be bold if it wants to move forward and prosper.” What to do? Language laws were recognized as an impediment to Montreal’s prosperity, and 75% of Montrealers think “guaranteeing full bilingual status” would help. “Streamlining and improving Montreal’s city governance” found favour with 97% of all the respondents, and almost as many think “recognizing entrepreneurs who are creating jobs in the city” is important. Premier Marois, take note: A full 94% of Montrealers and encouraging 80% of ROQ believe in “promoting Montreal’s multicultural aspects.” It’s not remarkable that “making a clear and long term commitment to the Canadian Federation” drew agreement from 80% of Montrealers, but that 66% of ROQ felt the same way will probably come as an unpleasant surprise to the PQ government. The key points of overwhelming agreement to take away from Montreal residents’ numbers are: Montreal is a distinct society within Quebec (90%); to stop its decline, Montreal needs to take drastic steps to improve the way it does things (91%); and Montreal deserves special status within Quebec because it is a world-class, cosmopolitan city (74%). The PQ government’s attempt to pass anglophobic Bill 14 offered proof yet again, if it were needed, that language supremacy is more important to sovereigntists than Montreal’s health and prosperity. The proposed Quebec Values Charter makes it crystal clear that Montreal’s strengths of multiculturalism and openness to the world are actually hateful to them. They would rather see Montreal on its knees, reduced to a plodding, unilingual provincial backwater, than take pride in what could be one of the world’s greatest cities. Montreal as a city-state is an idea whose time has come. All Canadians should support it. What is good for Montreal’s prosperity and growth is good for Quebec, for Canada and the world. National Post [email protected]