AngryFrenchGuy

In Montreal Liberals Try to Speak French and the Bloc won’t Speak English

with 474 comments

In the last few day there has been a few reports and rumours suggesting that some of the political parties in this fall’s federal election were fielding candidates in Montreal that could not speak French.

Intrigued, the PKP cell of the AngryFrenchMediaLabs lauched a major investigtion revealing that for all their talk of inclusion, the two political parties currently slugging it out for the control of Montreal’s electoral map, the Bloc québécois and the Liberal Party of Canada, are still very much le Parti des Anglais and le Parti des Français.

The Liberals

Very few ridings in Montreal seemed to have an active Liberal campaign at all at the time of the investigation, the week of September 14th to the 20th.  Of the handful of candidates that had a phone number and a website, most were in predominantly English-speaking Western Montreal. Even the Liberal Party of Canada – section Québec’s website has a heavy English accent with phrases such as “Contribuez à ce circonscription

Calls to the campaign offices of the party of Trudeau and Official billingualism were usually answered in English or in bilingual.

In the riding of Mount-Royal – the former riding of Pierre Elliot Trudeau himself – the staffer asked the AFG to speak English because it was too noisy.  Is English louder than French?  Mount-Royal is 21% French-speaking and is represented by former justice minister Irwin Cutler.

In nearby Westmount-Ville-Marie, the riding that includes all of Downtown and Old Montreal and where the party is fielding one of it’s rare Francophone rookie stars, rocketman Marc Garneau, the phone was answered in English.  The staffer was able to answer questions in friendly – if laborious – French.

According to the 2001 census, 37% of the ridings residents are English-speaking and 58% speak French or other languages at home.

One of the few active campaigns out east is Jesus… sorry…  Justin Trudeau’s who is trying to get elected in the predominantly French-speaking riding of Papineau with a weird franglais introduction video.  Despite reports that he also employed unilingual Anglo staffers, numerous calls to the campaign headquarters were always answered in French.

In nearby Honoré-Mercier where former Official Languages Commitee chair Pablo Rodriguez was one of the rare Liberal Francos to survive the sponsorship scandal, staffers spoke French to the caller, but the language of work in the campaign office was quite clearly English, as revealed by this CSI-style enhanced clip:

The Bloc

Well…  at least the Liberals were nice.

Justin Trudeau’s opponent, incumbent Vivian Barbot‘s staffer was able to speak to the AFG in English.  But she obviously didn’t want to.  And was quite rude about it.

Over in Saint-Léonard-Saint-Michel, whoever was answering the phones for the Bloc candidate Farid Salem simply refused to speak English.

Both ridings are predominantly Francophone, but also have sizable immigrant communities that the Bloc absolutely needs to win over if it wants to take these seats.  Interestingly, both candidates in these ridings are themselves so-called Nouveaux Québécois.

In Western Montreal, where the Bloc will not win any seats, several campaigns were run from the same office and the English was fluent and friendly.

The NDP and the Conservatives

With the improbable exception of Outremont which could re-elect the NDP ‘s Thomas Mulcair and the West Island’s Lac-Saint-Louis riding, which some say is within the Conservatives’ reach, few expect the far left or right to win anything in Montreal.  Calls to the few operational campaign offices of both parties were answered in fluent French and English without any difficulty… or attitude.

Written by angryfrenchguy

September 21, 2008 at 6:22 pm

474 Responses

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  1. To his answer all you answer yourself is:

    ““As in sales, they haven’t bought yet..because they need more information…And that is what the ROC needs, the knowledge of the situation”

    Pas fort! Coudn’t you say the same thing about the project of an independent Quebec?

    “Majority Quebecers hasen’t bought in 1995…because they needed more information etc…””

    It is not widely known in WC about the gold plated social programs that exist in Quebec at the “partial” expense of others…Being careful with this. Once widely known I think people would wonder why this situation exists…money to Quebec for social programs they don’t enjoy themselves…the point…they don’t have enough information to make an informed choice.

    The problem is in the West is that we have had it pretty good the last few years…when the belts have to be tightened as is coming, I am thinking there will be totally different attitude towards Quebec and the waste of money on programs such as the OLA which is for the most part paid for by Canadians outside of Quebec. Really, Kriss, when I tell people about the programs in Quebec they are for the most part shocked and don’t believe me…When I show them the proof they are downright pissed off.

    If you ask most people out here at the bar, at the coffee shop what their feelings are…the common thread is positive to Quebec independence …”we would be better off if Quebec would leave”. In four out of five questions you get the “better off” scenario when they are given the facts.

    Maybe someone should order up a poll today with wording such as..

    Are you in favor of Quebec staying in Canada with your tax dollars going to support 7.00 a day child care in Quebec.

    Are you in favor of Quebec staying in Canada with your tax dollars going to support capped secondary education in Quebec.

    Its the same question on bilingualism…Are you in favor of it…or…the proper Question, are you in favor of it when it costing billions of dollars of your tax dollars.

    Conveniently..the questions are not formatted correctly in polls.

    The same in Quebec…it is likely a majority of people there think the social programs you receive…are common in the rest of Canada.

    Last time I was in Montreal I spoke with a young telecom engineer and when I told him that we don’t have the same programs he was very surprised and then stated “no wonder the others in Canada have some problems with us.”

    ABP

    ABP

    October 7, 2008 at 10:02 pm

  2. Lets see how the language issues stack up against this issue. Doesn’t matter if you speak english or french, now..does it.

    http://start.shaw.ca/start/enCA/News/NationalNewsArticle.htm?src=n100777A.xml

    ABP

    October 7, 2008 at 10:15 pm

  3. “If you ask most people out here at the bar, at the coffee shop what their feelings are…the common thread is positive to Quebec independence …”we would be better off if Quebec would leave”. In four out of five questions you get the “better off” scenario when they are given the facts.”

    I would really like ROC to choose to separae from Quebec or to propose the kind of supranational confederation that would solve or try to solve this problem. That would never be accepted if proposed by Quebec. So we are waiting for you to ask for divorce… with no pension plan don’t worry. We can manage to live on our own. We are grown up.

    Good night.

    Kriss

    October 8, 2008 at 12:41 am

  4. ABP–If Québec leaves the federation, or if it is thrown out of it, isn’t there a strong possibility that Western Canada–or even all of Anglo Canada–will wind up as part of the United States? This scenario has been suggested by people such as Mackenzie King, my college roommate who was from Alberta, and TK on this blog. Is that what you want? Is that what people in the bars and coffee shops of Edmonton and Regina (or for that matter Montréal) want? I am not being rhetorical here; just curious to know.

    littlerob

    October 8, 2008 at 3:46 am

  5. “I’m a nationalist’s worst nightmare.”

    This is said by someone who calls himself: Proud Angryphone-Proud Canadian…”

    -And your point is?… “AngryFrenchguy”.

    “Actually I would like to discusss with you as with anybody else put you seem in your own world. Too bad.”

    Kris- This is a “little world” created by nationalists and the PQ. Reap what you sew. (Support).

    Everyone-Make NO mistake. I am no fan of the federalist government in any way whatsoever! I am a supporter of Confederation however. The federal government that turns/turned it’s back on the Anglophone and Allophine minorities in Quebec. They should be ashamed and they have earned as much of my scorn as the nationalists in Quebec.

    Canada (French and English) needs an enema! But my focus is addressing the laws that isolate and discriminate against myself and people like me. And breaking Canada apart solves nothing! For anyone!

    My anger stems from people telling me “change or leave you Anglo scum!”. Then in turn go about complaining that THEY are mistreated. The hypocrisy irritates me to no end. No more cake. No more eating it too. More and more Anglo’s are standing up.

    You better hope that the “Young Patriots of Quebec” can be kept out of the pubs long enough to keep Anglos away from rallies and meetings with their tactics violence and intimidation of elderly Anglophones and Allophones. The Montreal Police and SQ will just keep turning a blind eye.

    Things are going to start to be very different! Hope you enjoyed your little discrimination party while it lasted.

    Proud Angryphone-Proud Canadian

    October 8, 2008 at 10:29 am

  6. AFG: I’m a nationalist’s worst nightmare.”

    This is said by someone who calls himself: Proud Angryphone-Proud Canadian…”

    Proud Canadian: And your point is?…

    Point1: Proud Canadian is as nationalist a name as it gets.

    Point 2: You’re the only one here talking about ‘humiliation’ and getting back at the French like this was Germany in 1938.

    Point 3: Your also the only one here who seems to be taking groups like Les Jeunes Pariotes seriously while the rest of see them for the half-dozen clowns that they are.

    Point 4: Your the certainly the only one talking about enganging them in a drunken brawl over who’s ‘Nation’ is the best.

    You are the textbook definition of a nationalist, sir, and I spit in your face like I spit in the Jeune Patriots face.

    angryfrenchguy

    October 8, 2008 at 10:39 am

  7. “This scenario has been suggested by people such as Mackenzie King, my college roommate who was from Alberta, and TK on this blog. Is that what you want? Is that what people in the bars and coffee shops of Edmonton and Regina (or for that matter Montréal) want? I am not being rhetorical here; just curious to know.”

    I certainly would not be in favor of becoming another state in the US…But there are those who have been advocating this for years. It would make trade quite a bit easier…The problem is that I think Canadians (Quebec included) have a sense of identity and values that are distinctly different from Americans. (health care, foreign policy and many other examples). I am sure there are those that would advocate joining the US but I don’t think it is widespread.

    I think, that if Quebec independence were to happen things in Canada would be more like the scenariou described by Reed Scowen in his book (Time to Say Goodbye). I myself was brainwashed by the federal policitians as were many others in Canada in 1995. The doom and gloom scenariou painted by them to put fear in everyones mind…Canada without Quebec would suffer major economic issues and Quebec would become a third rate banana republic. Its all a bunch of BS quite frankly… there would be changes for sure but nothing that would be earth shattering… My only concern would be how complicated and difficult the divorce proceedings might become. Usually, divorces are never a pleasant experience and the two involved usually don’t get along very well after the excercise. Of course there are exceptions to this, arent there?

    ABP

    October 8, 2008 at 10:54 am

  8. “My only concern would be how complicated and difficult the divorce proceedings might become. Usually, divorces are never a pleasant experience and the two involved usually don’t get along very well after the excercise. Of course there are exceptions to this, arent there”

    Very interesting indeed1

    No more place for statu quo in ROC, at least for you ABP.
    A divorce? What about a “garde-partagée”?
    A supranational confederation? Let’s keep the best and get rid of the legacy of colonialism.

    Kriss

    October 8, 2008 at 11:08 am

  9. Proud thing:

    “You better hope that the “Young Patriots of Quebec” can be kept out of the pubs long enough to keep Anglos away from rallies and meetings with their tactics violence and intimidation of elderly Anglophones and Allophones. The Montreal Police and SQ will just keep turning a blind eye.Things are going to start to be very different! Hope you enjoyed your little discrimination party while it lasted.”

    You are the very equivalent of Raymond Villeneuve:
    same blindness, same dumbness, and totally out of touch.

    As a “30-something, Anglo from from Verdun, who now has a lot of money and a whole bunch of spare time”
    you should buy yourself a holiday in Gaza in order to see the real world.

    But don’t get me wrong,
    when I wrote:
    “I just realise now your giving a show to yourself and you’re alone. There’s a word for this kind of activity.”

    I was talking of masturbation, your speciality.

    Kriss

    October 8, 2008 at 11:20 am

  10. AFG: I’m a nationalist’s worst nightmare.”

    This is said by someone who calls himself: Proud Angryphone-Proud Canadian…”

    Proud Canadian: And your point is?…

    Point1: Proud Canadian is as nationalist a name as it gets.

    -Yes, I believe in the nation of Canada.

    Point 2: You’re the only one here talking about ‘humiliation’ and getting back at the French like this was Germany in 1938.

    -I don’t speak of the “French”. I refer to Quebec nationalists that are bent on breaking up a great nation with lies, half truths, and practice discrimination. I make no comparison to Nazi Germany. However, your Quebec nationalist mind and education teaches you to offer such outlandish speculations. Which at no point was there a comparison made.

    Point 3: Your also the only one here who seems to be taking groups like Les Jeunes Pariotes seriously while the rest of see them for the half-dozen clowns that they are.

    -Violence is a serious matter when committed in a large or small way. This group is violent, condones violence and the police do nothing to stop them. You’re a Quebec nationalist Francophone, perhaps if you call and make a complaint, the nationalist police forces (Montreal&SQ) may do something about them. Could you do that for us all. Thanks bud.

    Point 4: Your the certainly the only one talking about engaging them in a drunken brawl over who’s ‘Nation’ is the best.

    -Not sure where I said that? But again, making points out of thin air is a trait of your political mind set.

    You are the textbook definition of a nationalist, sir, and I spit in your face like I spit in the Jeune Patriots face.

    -Very articulate, and vulgar. But what should I expect from those who generally make things up. Twist history, live in a fantasy dream world of thinking you can have a nation paid for by the nation you already belong to.

    Thank you for exposing yourself for what you are mon ami. I look forward to your next points that bear no validity. Rene trained you all well!!

    Proud Angryphone-Proud Canadian

    October 8, 2008 at 11:52 am

  11. you should buy yourself a holiday in Gaza in order to see the real world.
    -No instead I joined the Canadian Armed Forces and saw Rwanda and the Balkans. Any other comments?

    I was talking of masturbation, your speciality.

    -I didn’t realize I was actually debating 6th graders. Shouldn’t you be in school right now? Do any of you nationalists have any valid points?? All you’re accomplishing is giving me hope that our rights will be returned to us quicker than I expected. Greatest birthday present in years. Merci!!!

    Proud Angryphone-Proud Canadian

    October 8, 2008 at 12:02 pm

  12. As I still pay canadian taxes, I am allowed to make a jugment:

    Most of your post just show a very narrow mind, blind partiality and deformation of reality and other people writing, not to mention hate. So you really don’t make honor to veterans of canadian army.

    Kriss

    October 8, 2008 at 12:26 pm

  13. And I am myself the son of a veteran who saw all his friends killed by real nazis.

    Kriss

    October 8, 2008 at 12:36 pm

  14. It’s funny people mentioning the rest of Canada becoming part of the US, I always heard it would be Quebec becoming part of the US. Also, as for nice amical separation, that wouldn’t happen as the rest of Canada are sick of Quebec and want to see them leave, they would not be supportive of Quebec.

    me

    October 8, 2008 at 12:58 pm

  15. So you really don’t make honor to veterans of canadian army.

    -You have not EARNED the right to speak about the Canadian Armed Forces! Period!

    And I am myself the son of a veteran who saw all his friends killed by real nazis

    -Your father was clearly a great man to be honoured.His contributions to Canada should never be forgotten.

    Most of your post just show a very narrow mind, blind partiality and deformation of reality and other people writing, not to mention hate.

    -Stick and stones mon ami. Stick and stones. I have neither mentioned hatred toward anyone, just a political mechanism. Again with the word twisting. Please produce some social-economic benefits to your points that have so far been devoid of credibility and fact. Please?

    Proud Angryphone-Proud Canadian

    October 8, 2008 at 2:01 pm

  16. “No more place for statu quo in ROC, at least for you ABP.”

    I am not sure I understand this comment. I am of the opinion the current situation as it exists at this time should not be allowed to continue as it is neither good for Quebec or Canada. For instance, the BQ themselves are not a national party…they only represent the cause of Quebecers and over the past have campaigned on Sovereigty issues. We will likely not every see a strong majority in this country due to the BQ, essentially holding the rest of the country hostage as I see it. A national party should have the welfare of the total country at heart, not just a particular region as it is with the BQ. I heard Gilles Duceppe during the french debate dis both SK and AB for being such terrible polluters. You would not hear a federal politician make a similar statement as it would cost them votes.

    A divorce? What about a “garde-partagée”?
    A supranational confederation? Let’s keep the best and get rid of the legacy of colonialism.

    I doubt that any association as above would really work out for both parties (QC and ROC). I think this would only be watered down separation and the problems with regards to language, culture and economics would the same as they are now. Also, we would have to add the expense of another entire bueacracy to oversee the arrangement. Would they be 90% anglos and 10% franco or bilingual…??:)..you see the differences would continue. We need less government, not more.

    Likely a clean cut and a clear allocation of assets and assignement of the national debt in proportion is the best way to go. Its not hard to split a dollar, is it??

    Perhaps there could be some sharing of resources such as military but this again would be a problem…how many anglos, how many francos…what would be the official language of the military…We would have the same problems we have now…just in a different format.

    You see, any coalition involving both parties would involve langauge and cultural issues and therefore would be as unworkable as the situation we currently have. Well, I guess one could say its working but not very well as this blog would suggest.

    ABP

    ABP

    October 8, 2008 at 2:08 pm

  17. ABP–I agree with you that anglo Canadians’ values (and historical experience) are somewhat different from ours in the USA; this is incidentally something that I believe is seldom appreciated by francos. I nevertheless believe that a great deal of anglo Canadians’ identity is wrapped up in the political dance that they do with francos (not just in Québec, but all over Canada), and that if Canada were to lose Québec, its anglos would lose enough of their identity after the “divorce” to make adhering to the the US a likelihood–i.e. I think it would be a psychological issue, rather than an economic one.

    Just a footnote to this: when I go from Plattsburgh to the Montérégie, I know damn good and well that I have crossed into another country. The transition from Buffalo to the St. Catherine’s peninsula is nowhere near as great, notwithstanding the monuments to the many battles fought there in the War of 1812.

    littlerob

    October 8, 2008 at 3:05 pm

  18. I often make similar comparisons to the one littlerob just made and they are always met with a big hue and cry.

    Now, although it is probably true that the U.S. is in general more conservative than Canada, there are big differences within each country as well. Southern Alberta is probably more conservative (in the American sense) than a lot of the more left-leaning American states like Vermont or Massachusetts.

    In any event, differences of political opinions and leanings are not usually the main distinguishing characteristics that national borders are founded upon. Almost every single country in the world has within it regions that tend to be more liberal, conservative, progressive, bible-thumping, etc. It may make for fractious internal politics but that’s not normally what will determine if they split up or stick together.

    Acajack

    October 8, 2008 at 3:29 pm

  19. “You have not EARNED the right to speak about the Canadian Armed Forces! Period!”

    Wrong! As I am a Canadian ( as my income tax report and my passport show) I have all the right to pass jugment to any canadian public services such as Canadian Armed Forces. The army is not a secret society or a private association but a canadian and public one.

    But again, you twisted what I said, because I was talking about you! Period!

    Kriss

    October 8, 2008 at 3:38 pm

  20. SUGGESTION:

    WHEN QUOTING SOMEONE:

    1) ALWAYS INCLUDE QUOTATION MARKS AT BOTH THE BEGINNING AND THE END OF THE QUOTE. IF THERE IS MORE THAN ONE CONSECUTIVE PARAGRAPH, ALWAYS PUT QUOTES AT THE BEGINNING OF EACH PARAGRAPH.

    2) AT THE BEGINNING OF THE QUOTE PLEASE STATE WHO IT IS THAT SAID WHAT YOU’RE QUOTING. FOR EXAMPLE, IF YOU’RE QUOTING JOE BLOW, PUT AT THE BEGINNING OF THE QUOTE: “JOE BLOW WROTE:” AND THEN QUOTE JOE BLOW’S WORDS.

    T.K.

    October 8, 2008 at 5:14 pm

  21. “You have not EARNED the right to speak about the Canadian Armed Forces! Period!”

    I don’t think you understand the system, Proud Canadian, when Kriss as a citizen speeks to you as soldier, it’s an employer talking to an employee. The only answer out of your mouth is ‘Yes, sir” Anything else is insubordination.

    angryfrenchguy

    October 8, 2008 at 8:34 pm

  22. Acajack says:

    “It may make for fractious internal politics but that’s not normally what will determine if they split up or stick together.”

    So then, what will be the determining issues…from your perspective.

    ABP

    ABP

    October 9, 2008 at 12:23 am

  23. AFG: you can be very funny when you want to be!

    T.K.

    October 9, 2008 at 12:56 am

  24. “Acajack says:
    “It may make for fractious internal politics but that’s not normally what will determine if they split up or stick together.”So then, what will be the determining issues…from your perspective.”
    ABP”

    My point is that the left-right cleavage is not usually where it’s at. Culture (in the absolute broadest definition of the term) is more of a determinant.

    (English-)Canadians tend to greatly overestimate the importance of left-right politics because Canada as a whole tends to lean more to the left than the U.S. (often because of Quebec to be frank – this is quite ironic), and because they can’t honestly see that many bona fide cultural differences between the ROC and the States.

    Acajack

    October 9, 2008 at 9:03 am

  25. Littlerob: “Just a footnote to this: when I go from Plattsburgh to the Montérégie, I know damn good and well that I have crossed into another country.”
    Yes, that’s right. Bad roads and poorness everywhere.

    Geck

    October 9, 2008 at 2:44 pm

  26. Bad roads? that’s right!
    Pooness? have you ever been in Vermont’s deep country side?

    Kriss

    October 9, 2008 at 2:47 pm

  27. have you ever been in Alabama?

    Kriss

    October 9, 2008 at 2:48 pm

  28. Have you ever been in Nicaragua?

    Geck

    October 9, 2008 at 3:13 pm

  29. What’s your point. We are talking of the difference when one passes from US to Canada, and then you alk of Nicaragua….

    Kriss

    October 9, 2008 at 3:17 pm

  30. Yes I have been in Vermont and Alabama, nothing to compare. Quebec is a really poor canadian province.

    Geck

    October 9, 2008 at 3:17 pm


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