Tag Archives: Quebec

Ding Dong The Separatist Witch is Dead: Quebec Bids Farewell To Pauline Marois

Pauline Marois

(Former!) PQ Leader and (former!) Premier of Quebec Pauline Marois suffered a crushing defeat Monday night – and I mean crushing. Not only did the Liberals win a majority government, Pauline Marois lost her own seat in Charlevoix-Cote-de-Beaupre and resigned as leader of the Parti Quebecois.

Pauline Marois became the province’s first female premier only 18 months ago, as the once-dominant Quebec Liberal Party struggled amid widespread allegations of corruption. But her time in office wasn’t… the best. Marois promised to cut taxes and end government corruption but instead spent a lot of time re-igniting the push toward Quebec independence and defending the controversial Charter of Quebec Values, designed to regulate religious identity. Determined to win a majority mandate, Marois dissolved the provincial government back in March and embarked on a campaign riddled with referendum talk.

Turns out running a campaign without a substantive platform but with a strong focus on separatism and religious discrimination wasn’t the smartest idea. But on the bright side, it will be a great case study for future politicians on how not to run a campaign. 

Monday’s provincial election was not kind to Marois. In her own riding Pauline Marois lost a tight race to Liberal candidate Caroline Simard. Simard took 35.1 per cent of the vote, and Marois 32.6 per cent.

The premiership race wasn’t quite so close. The Quebec Liberal Party returned to power with a majority government – mostly by default. With a mandate to be anything but the PQ, Philippe Couillard, a former neurosurgeon, became Quebec’s newest Premier. Now the province can finally put the issue of separation aside and return to what they know best: complaining about Liberal Party corruption.

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Elections, Elections, Elections!

Elections Cats

Spring is finally here – the time when a young man’s fancy turns to … elections.

Burqa-clad women show ID cards as they wait to vote in Afghanistan's 2009 presidential electionsOver in Afghanistan voters are bidding goodbye to Hamid Karzai and hello to… well no one yet because apparently it will take a whole week to count the ballots. Votes from Afghanistan’s first democratic election are still being tallied after millions of voters braved threats of Taliban violence to cast their votes on Saturday. Some polling places ran out of ballots and some people stayed inside fearing death by Taliban, but about seven million out of 12 million eligible voters made it out, so not bad. Both President Obama and NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen praised Afghan officials and voters for the relatively smooth elections (by Afghan standards), but mostly Obama is just happy he won’t have to deal with President Hamid Karzai anymore, who is constitutionally prohibited from seeking a third term.

Indian voters hold up their voter ID cardMeanwhile, in India, the nine-phase ballot process began on Monday and the country’s marathon election/logistical nightmare makes the Afghan democratic process look like child’s play. More than 800 million Indians will begin trudging to polling booths on Monday, in an election that will last until May 12 (since the voting days are slowly rolled out state-by-state). Over the course of the month, the Hindu nationalist BJP will take on the incumbent Congress Party in an Indian electoral showdown over the country’s two biggest issues: the economy and corruption.

Quebec CharterAnd then there’s Quebec. Practice France began their provincial elections on Monday, two years after the Parti Quebecois somehow won a minority government in 2012. After a revived debate over Quebec’s independence from Canada, a controversial push for Quebec’s Charter of “Values” (which would ban public employees from wearing religious articles) and a boost in language law policing, the PQ may not be so lucky this time around.  PQ Leader Pauline Marois called this election because she believed she could win a majority government but now most pollsters are saying that the Liberals are poised to reclaim the National Assembly. Where did they go wrong? Well, if she had to do it all over again, the PQ Leader says she wouldn’t have spent a full week of the 2014 election campaign talking about separating from the rest of Canada. And the whole Charter of Values/portraying Quebec as a racist backwater probably didn’t help either…

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Quebec Doctors Ordered to Stop Performing Virginity Tests

virginity tests

Unsure if you’re still a virgin? Better get tested now because the Quebec college of physicians has issued a warning to doctors to stop performing virginity tests.

After several incidents of virginity testing, a practice linked to bridal purity and family honour, were reported in the Greater Montreal area, Quebec doctors have been warned to stop performing virginity tests and issuing “virginity certificates.”

The procedure goes against its code of ethics, the college said, and breaches patient confidentiality.

“Imagine a doctor who does a gynecological examination with the sole purpose of … it goes beyond the imagination. And it’s degrading to women,” Collège des médecins president Charles Bernard told The Gazette in an interview.

The cases came to light when two University of Montreal ethicists were contacted by health professionals who reported the incidents in four health clinics. The ethics pros were initially contacted by a clinic nurse who was asked by a young woman in her 20s during a routine medical checkup whether her hymen was still intact and if “she was still marriageable.” In other instances, young girls were forced by their families to go to clinics and have virginity tests done.

And to all those women who lost their virginity to a bike, it’s over – you’re not marriageable. Unless you find a doctor willing to provide fake proof of virginity… which do exist in Quebec.

Via: The National Post

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Quebec Disguises Discrimination as “Quebec Values”

Quebec Values Charter of Values

Quebec’s controversial Charter of Quebec Values has proposed banning public workers from wearing overtly religious symbols.

Under the proposed Charter, public employees would not be allowed to wear overtly religious symbols at work, including religious headwear such as Muslim scarves and those little Jewish hats. If you’re a bit confused about what would be allowed and what would be forbidden, the Quebec government has released a helpful guide. The first three images are acceptable “non-ostentatious” religious symbols. The bottom five are big NO-NOs. They are far too ostentatious.

Allowed Not Allowed

The plan would apply to judges, police, prosecutors, public daycare workers, teachers, school employees, hospital workers and municipal personnel.  The Charter would also make it mandatory to have one’s face uncovered when providing or receiving a state service.

The proposed Charter of Values was unveiled on Tuesday by the Parti Quebecois (who else?), who control the provincial government in a minority government situation. The Parti Quebecois claims they are simply trying “to entrench the religious neutrality of the state and the secular nature of public institutions” in Quebec’s Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.

But Quebec will keep the crucifix in the National Assembly, the cross will stay on Mount Royal, and Christmas trees will remain in provincial government buildings… because apparently hypocrisy is also a Quebec value.

Since the Parti Quebecois holds a minority government, they must win support from another party in order to enact the measure, and officials say it won’t be introduced for debate until later in the year. Now, this proposed Charter of Quebec Values is blatantly unconstitutional as a violation of freedom of religion guaranteed the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. So if the proposal does get passed there is sure to be a legal sh*tstorm to follow.

But maybe that’s been the PQ’s strategy all along… Have their Charter of Quebec Values struck down by the Supreme Court of Canada and then blame the rest of the country for repressing their identity and try to get another referendum to separate out of it…. Or maybe they just don’t care for Muslims. Whatever.

Via: CBC News

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Quebec Train Disaster

Current EVent Cat - 30 Missing Train Disaster

Canadian police have said that 30 people are still missing since Saturday’s train disaster in the village of Lac-Mégantic, Québec and are “most probably dead”.

Presuming the missing are dead, the final death count from the tragic accident is now at 50. The train disaster happened when a train derailed and five cars carrying crude oil exploded in the middle of the village, blowing up 30 buildings and forcing 2,000 residents to flee their homes.

20 bodies have been recovered so far and the police definitely expect to find 30 more. The police recently announced that families of the “missing” should prepare for the worst.

“We informed them of the potential loss of their loved ones,” said Quebec police inspector Michel Forget, “You have to understand that it’s a very emotional moment.”

The intensity of the explosions and fire made certain parts of the town too hot to handle so rescuers have been slow at recovering the remains. Additionally, some of the bodies may have been burnt to ashes in the explosion so authorites have asked relatives to provide DNA samples by bringing in toothbrushes, razors and other items.

Who’s to blame for the fourth worst train disaster in Canadian history? NDP leader Thomas Mulcair thinks Stephen Harper is to blame (as always) but Rail World chief executive officer Edward Burkhardt pointed his finger at an engineer who was in charge of driving the train. Burkhardt said the train’s engineer had been suspended without pay and was under “police control.”

“We think he applied some hand brakes, but the question is, did he apply enough of them?” Burkhardt said. “He said he applied 11 hand brakes. We think that’s not true. Initially we believed him, but now we don’t.

Way to throw him under the bus train, Burkhardt!

Via: CBC News

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