As John Lennon might say “ No one told me there would be days like, these strange days indeed”. Because I looked out my window and actually saw a flying pig. There will be , if all goes well, an English leaders debate for the October 1st election. Everyone has a horse in this race for the hearts of non-francophone voters.
Something for Everyone
Papa Bear Couillard wants to reassure and comfort the anglo heartland that there is enough porridge for all.
The PQ’s Jean-Francois Lisee will probably go for the sport of it. His English is the best of the 4 and obviously considers himself the smartest guy in the room.
Francois Legault will struggle the most but while he won’t take NDG or Jacques Cartier, he needs some non-Franco votes in key ridings. His proposal to eliminate constitutionally guaranteed school boards for Anglos is likely to be a highlight.
Then there are the Solidaires. They would be smart to put up student protestor extraordinaire Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois as their debater. He just might charm young voters who like the idea of someone else paying for everything.
Damn the Naysayers
The idea of a debate in English is wonderful and long overdue. I worry that somehow it won’t happen. But we got this far and that is just about the furtherest we have even been.
But some can’t leave well enough alone. There are those who don’t want English speaking Quebecers to get anything except maybe a one way ticket to Ontario. Prime Anglo-baiter Pierre Curzi for one. Now Curzi is a former PQ politician and actor, although his claim to fame never much made it outside of the borders of Quebec. One of his more insightful comments was blaming a federal conspiracy for the lack of French speaking players on the Canadiens Speaking on Quebec’s most popular radio show this week, he said holding an English speaking debate would be shameful. What really is shameful is that neither cohost Paul Arcand nor Mario Dumont challenged Curzi’s garbage.
But thats the way it is folks. For some misfits, any gain for the minority is a loss for the majority. An insult. We have tough skin and seems to me its getting tougher all the time. A debate in English is our right. We pay taxes and vote and belong. And we wont back down.
A Liberal Prescription
With the election looming closer the Liberal temple appears to be crumbling . More than one in 5 Liberal MNA’s will not seek election. The economy in Quebec is humming along tickety boo and the scandal prone Liberals have seemed to be keeping their noses clean-ish. And now Couillard is moving to defuse his biggest time bomb. Health care is THE major issue for most Quebecers and the minister is the poster boy for its dysfunction. This week Gaetan Barrette said he would welcome a new portfolio. You don’t need to read between the lines to figure what that means.Rumour has it that head of the CHUM Fabrice Brunet just might be recruited as the new health czar.
Adios le Bloc
Wither the Bloc Quebecois. Like Eleanor Rigby “buried along with her name. Nobody came.” The 7 caucus members who quit over Martine Ouellet’s leadership are thinking about forming a new party. I can see it all now. The new saviours of Quebec. But this group that lost any real relevance it ever had years ago. Ouellet for her part says they have been spreading fake news about her. Ouch. Where have we heard that before. “All the lonely people. Where do they all belong?”
A Great Montrealer
Finally this week something to be happy about. A big shout out to the City of Pointe Claire for doing the right thing.A new park will be named in honour of a Montreal legend – Tony Proudfoot. He died in 2010 after battling ALS. Pointe Claire Mayor John Belvedere says its a perfect way to memorialize the life and career of an extraordinary man. Proudfoot was a gifted defensive back for the Alouettes and later a college teacher and broadcaster. An all star in every sense of the word. Nice job Pointe Claire.