A modern day Marcellus might wonder if indeed “there something rotten in the state of the English Montreal School Board?”

The new education minister thinks something stinks.  And he believes there may be serious violations of ethics.

Here is what Francois Roberge claimed this week:

“Inappropriate use of school board assets for favours benefitting administrative staff

There has been talk about bullying, heated exchanges, distasteful comments and as I said the work of the council of commissioners is paralyzed by conflict”

Now the Board says it passed a provincial audit a few years back with flying colours and except for some bad school yard behaviour at council, everything is fine.  Minister Roberge claims the previous Liberal government knew about the allegations but decided to ignore them. Unlike the 3 levels of governments, the level of oversight at school boards is severely lacking.  And that is a problem.

Don’t Connect the Dots.

Some even say this is just the first shot over the bow in the CAQ campaign to get rid of school boards.

I am not so sure about that.   You have to assume the minister has heard plenty he doesn’t like and he is acting in good faith. Drawing the connection is just too facile.

Where will this lead?  Will there be an upheaval at the board?  Is current governance wanting?  Right now we don’t know.   There are allegations.  There is no evidence that could pass muster. But given the history of the board and what has been alleged, it is time to clear the air. After all, it’s your money and your kids.

Bienvenue?

I guess it really didn’t come as a surprise, but I did have some hope that once the premier or language minister saw the absurdity of the language tiff in Lachute, they would do the right thing.  Nope.  The government says it agrees that taking down half-sized English signs at Lachute hospital is necessary. Why are we still talking about this?   Trust me, informing English speaking patients about where to receive service will not weaken the hegemony of the French language in Quebec.  

It’s all about politics and not appearing to back down.  As Abraham Lincoln said, “if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”  Health care has no language Mr Premier.

A Hero’s Welcome for Political Gain?

If Chrystia Freeland isn’t a show boater, I don’t know who is.   She is for sure the second biggest one in the Trudeau government. Now I am happy that Canada stepped up and welcomed an 18 year old Saudi woman who claimed she was victim of terrible abuse.

But why was Rahaf Mohammed showered with such a hero’s welcome? Does the Foreign Affairs minister personally greet every refugee claimant.?  Or just ones the camera falls in love with and who are good on social media?

Like I said, good on us that Canada did the decent thing.   But let’s face it, the event was nothing more than a pre-election publicity stunt.  All the while, the queue to enter Canada gets longer and we continue to sell military equipment to Saudi Arabia.    If we really want to condemn Sharia Law and the conditions  this girl was escaping, we need to do better.

Call to “Order”

Finally, across the pond, our friends are tearing themselves asunder over the Brexit issue. But this week, one man shone brightly in trying to bring order to what has become an argument by pre-schoolers.

John Bercow,  Speaker of the commons was wonderful in getting the Parliamentarians in line.  (check out the video this website ).   He even made a plea for more zen. Zen indeed.  Maybe we should all have as a 2019 resolution.   More Zen for everyone.