Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dialogue with Dan Veniez - BC - Federal Liberal Candidate , Part 1

Hi Didi:

Thanks so much for taking the time to write on a matter that obviously touches a deep and personal chord with you and many other Canadians.

Where to begin?

A good place, I think, is perhaps to direct you and your readers to the contents of my website at There you’ll find plenty of context for my support of Michael Ignatieff, some background on me, and a few speeches and blog posts that may put in perspective my profound convictions on national unity.

You made some reference to my tender age, and for that I am grateful! But some background on me and my family is in order, I think.

I was born and raised on the working class east island of Montreal. My father was a truck driver and my mother worked at the local Canadian International Paper sack plant as an hourly laborer. Both were lifelong union members and organizers. Dad grew up in St-Michel, a pretty rough section of Montreal. He is of Irish (my paternal grandmother, Margaret Thompson, was born in Belfast) and British (my grandfather, Walter, was born in Croydon, England). Neither of my grandparents spoke any French when they came to Canada, and until the day they died. My father learned the old-fashioned way: By fighting the French kids – literally - on the way to school and back. He was the only English kid in that neighborhood. He met and married my mother, Micheline Riopelle. Mama didn’t speak a word of English when she met my father. Her parents, Laurette and Solomon, hated the English. While my father’s father fought in WWI and lost his leg in the battle of Passchendaele, my Papere fled to the Laurentiens to avoid conscription. In fact, my mother’s parents and her sisters didn’t go to my parents wedding because she was marrying a moudit anglais.

My brothers and sister (we are four siblings) attended St-Charles, an English Catholic public elementary school in Pointe-aux-Trembles, then a suburb of Montreal. Our friends were primarily from English speaking families. My brothers and I lived the same experience my Dad did growing up. We had to be pretty good fighters. I was luckier than most because I played hockey and ended up being pretty good. Scoring goals that was the best and fastest way to gaining acceptance, and over time, trust and friendship. So too was learning and speaking the language, which we all did. we were lucky there, too. French immersion was playing with the neighborhood kids on the streets, not in a fancy classroom.

For the longest time, we didn’t feel at home in our own community. We felt like outsiders. I don’t have to tell you that is a terrible feeling. So, despite the fact that I was a kid – and perhaps because of it – I lived the pain and embarrassment feeling excluded, feeling different, feeling like we were somehow second class citizens. To paraphrase Bill Clinton when he was running for the presidency in 1992: Didi, I feel your pain!

I lived through many of the iconic moments of that period. I vividly recall for instance waving the Canadian flag as President Charles de Gaulle passed by our home in his motorcade on rue Notre Dame going to deliver that infamous speech on the steps of Montreal City Hall. I still see that image and remember thinking to myself: What a goofy hat he has on! Or going trick or treating with my older brother Peter and friend Timmy Martel during the middle of the October Crisis. No lights were on and no one – except us – dared go out that night. Or my father and mother bringing us to a rally one sunny fall afternoon to see this young guy speak to a huge crowd of mostly screaming girls. That was the first time I saw Pierre Elliot Trudeau.

And I indeed remember, because I know now that it was such a formative part of my experience, the language wars. We were scared. That is the only way to put it. Bill 22, enacted by the Liberal federalist provincial government of Robert Bourassa, was the first salvo. That was 1972. We felt the reverberations throughout the English speaking community. In our neck of the woods, it was a very small one. Our provincial constituency was Lafontaine. That is where the first member of the Parti Quebecois was first elected to the National Assembly. His name was Marcel Leger, one of the founders of the PQ, and it is no coincidence that he ran and won there.  

I was in high school when Rene Levesque and the PQ came to power in 1976. That event sent shock waves that were felt for years. We spoke the language, but we were an “English” family. All of us had gone to English schools and that was the language we spoke at home. With Mama, we spoke French, but together, the language was English. The economy tanked. Head offices were leaving and jobs going with it. within a few years, my father lost his job at Canadian Vickers, and the sack plant shut down and Mom lost her job. She was left with no pension and no benefits.

Friends and their families were leaving. My father’s brother and sister left for Ontario. We didn’t see our cousins until years later. My sister got a job in Toronto, where she still lives.

I was old enough to remember how Montreal was the cultural and economic capital of Canada. I remember the jobs that were lost, the pain and anxiety in our family and our small community, and the outright fear that we felt when the PQ came to power.

The high school I attended was the only English language school in the region. It was called ecole secondaire Napoleon Courtemache. It was an absolute dive, as English schools in that area were. Many years ago it was torn down. The closest high school was in St. Leonard, Roberto Luongo country.

My first ever vote was “NON”, in the 1980 referendum campaign, which paved the way for Prime Minister Trudeau’s repatriation campaign which eventually lead to the historic agreement to have our own Charter of Rights and Freedom’s, his most important and lasting legacy to Canada, in my humble judgment.      

My family was deeply impacted in many ways that I cannot begin to adequately convey. We weren’t alone. We felt like interlopers in our own city and province much of the time. Sometimes, we felt singularly targeted because we spoke English at home and went to English schools. I remember my father asking where all the leaders had gone to protect us from what he believed – with a lot of justification – was institutionalized discrimination at the hands of language “zealots”, as he called them.

So, I get it, Didi. And I know all too well what you felt and feel.

The Quebec economy suffered a prolonged and devastating decline. It still hasn’t recovered, and arguably, never will, in relative terms.

That was 40 years ago and much has changed. Quebec is today a more confident society. The insecurities and passions that drove Bill 22 and Bill 101 are very hard to find today. There is more bilingualism and more multiculturalism in today’s Quebec than I have ever seen.

During the constitutional wars that began in Victoria when Lester Pearson was prime minister, a show stopping “demand” from Quebec governments going back to Jean Lessage was that Quebec be recognized as a “distinct society” within Canada. Various attempts to reform and modernize the Constitutional Act failed before and since because there was no support for that concept. In 1992, Trudeau repatriated the constitution without Quebec’s signature. In fact, the National Assembly passed a unanimous motion against it. Meech Lake and Charlottetown fared no better. For different reasons, these stalemates ushered in the Reform Party and the Bloc Quebecois, the genesis of our “permanent” minority parliamentary impasse.

Today, Canadians are living with those consequences.

Frankly, I didn’t like – in fact, hated – the notion that Quebec, or anyone else for that matter, should be recognized as a “nation” within Canada. It took me a while to get my head around that idea. It was Michael Ignatieff who helped me understand what that meant in the contemporary context. I read it in his wonderful book, The Rights Revolution, which I strongly encourage you to take a look at.

“In a strong federation, all provinces should be equal, but all provinces are not the same. Each came to our federation with a particular history that must be recognized. Quebec in particular has a unique history: the only former French colony to join confederation with its own distinct language, legal system and religious institutions. It entered the federation on the strict understanding that its distinguishing features would receive special protection in the new federal government of Canada. Canadian unity ever since has depended on recognition of this understanding.

Quebecers, moreover, have come to understand themselves as a nation, with a language, history, culture and territory that marks them out as a separate people. Quebec is a civic nation, not an ethnic nation. It is composed of all the peoples from many lands who have come to Quebec and associate themselves with the values and traditions of Quebec and Canada. Quebec’s Charter of Rights—and its language laws—balance the rights of the majority, with equal rights for linguistic and other minorities.

More than 5000 nations are recognized as such in the world, but there are less than 200 states at the United Nations. It is normal, therefore, for nations to join with other peoples to share a state. The Scottish people consider themselves a nation, but regard Britain as their country. The Basques and Catalans regard their people as nations, but accept Spain as their country. So it is with Quebec. Quebecers, by considerable majorities, consider Quebec their nation and Canada their country.
To recognize Quebec—and Aboriginal peoples—as nations within the fabric of Canada is not to make some new concession. It is simply to acknowledge a fact. Nor is it a prelude to further devolution of powers. Quebec already possesses the authority it needs, in areas of health, education, immigration, manpower training, language and culture, to protect the identity of its people and to promote its economic and social development. Since the 1960’s, it has opted out of national programs, like the Canada
Pension Plan, while providing substitute programs that meet both its objectives and those of the federation. These negotiated rights to opt out should be respected, but equally Quebecers should have the right to opt in, to participate fully in pan-Canadian programs that expand their citizenship, increase their opportunities and improve their economic performance. This achieved balance—between provincial autonomy and national citizenship—already allows a clear majority of Quebecers to say, with pride, “Le Quebec est ma nation, le Canada est mon pays.”

I understand where you’re coming from and how you feel, Didi. But I sincerely believe that we have – and will continue to evolve in a way that respects and balances the rights of all Canadians. And I genuinely believe that with the right national leadership, our best days as a country are ahead of us. Fighting the painful wars of the past do no good. building together is what we must focus on. That’s what I am dedicated to doing as a person who is putting his money where his mouth is by standing for elected office for the first time in my life. I feel honored and privileged to be doing so. The country my kids are growing up in is a different one than the one you and I did. I want to work to make it stronger, better, and more united.

Sorry for the length of the message. Your note and observations are terribly important. Please feel free to contact me anytime, and please take a look at the website.

All the very best,

Dear Dan,

I am more than delighted to have received your reply and frankly, it wasn't long enough :):)    Our family backgrounds are very much alike - I was born in Germany - and we immigrated to Canada in 1952.  My father  had immigrated the previous year & met us at the dock in Halifax.   My mom and I and sister, as a matter of fact we were one of the first 'families' that arrived and made the newspaper - where they mistakenly listed me as a 'boy' probably because of my haircut and the lederhosen I was wearing. Like many immigrants, my father had no English skill and had taken a job as a painter outside the city - so my sister and I spent our first year in a convent (it was the only school that would accept us- at the time) - where we learned the language and had our first introduction to religion.  I remember screaming when I saw a nun walking toward me in her long black robe - thinking she was some kind of monster.  It ended up being a great educational foundation because I walked out out there a year later at the ripe old age of 6 - fluent in English and reading and writing longhand  with ease.  (Just goes to show how adaptable children are.)   In 54 - we moved to Montreal - where we went through the - being called a Nazi - nonsense for the first time.  My father had given us strict instructions to "Not fight back - Don't make trouble" ...  which we ignored - once my mom gave us the nod to protect ourselves.  Luckily, I only recall having one 'fight' about it.  It was probably because we were girls - not boys :)..  the following year we moved to the South Shore,to one of its poorest towns, Mackayville - today a part of Longueuil.   Our neck of the woods,  was majority Francophone (Yech - I still can't stand describing it as Franco/Allo  minority/majority) - and like you, I learned the language from my friends.  Unlike you,  I grew up  in an 'ideal'  environment.  Yes our neighbors were French - that included a smattering  of English families - here and there.   (Note: My father had tried to enroll us in French school as soon as we arrived in Mtl., but the French schools would not accept immigrants or English students)
I spent my childhood - surrounded by the Fizette's next door, a family of 6 who spoke no English -the LeBlanc's across the street - no English,  The Morrisette's a wonderful couple that I adopted as my grandparents - and had long conversations, every day after school.  They too spoke no English (I spoke no French) and to this day I marvel over the fact that somehow, we understood each other and I loved them dearly.  The same held true for the other families in our neighborhood.  We never locked our doors - and weekends were spent - listening to those very handsome Fizette boys playing their guitars and singing Elvis songs - or playing baseball - or riding in a canoe in our back yard when it flooded.  The only time I was ever  made aware of a difference - was when my by now 'best friend Nicole'  told me I was going to go to hell - because I was a Protestant.  (Catholicism was out of the picture at home - because my father had lived through the 'High Catholic brutality in Germany as a child).  I vividly remember telling Nicole that she was very wrong  and then we dropped it.  I did though - join the family for their 'evening mass' and try to pray alongside them in French (never mastered that one)..  There was never a hint of feeling that I didn't belong there.  It just was.   We all accepted each other in the most natural - beautiful way.  We Embraced each others differences  and were incredibly enriched by them.   We celebrated Saint John The Baptist  Day together,  We celebrated Canada Day together.  We went to the sugar shacks together.  We assimilated into each others lives - willingly - enthusiastically.  As I grew up and went to work - another fond memory is, exchanging language lessons - with the taxi driver that drove me into town once or twice a week.
There are too many like stories to tell.  Suffice to say it was about as good as it can get.  And I know - that is the primary reason Quebec became the richest province in the country.  We were rich in spirit and the prosperity was a ripple effect of that spirit.

I moved to the Bahamas in 1967 & although I heard about the FLQ etc... via the family;  it was beyond my scope to take it seriously.  Not my Quebec...  Not the Province that I crowed about to my Bahamian and later American friends, as being the absolute best place to live in the world, because we lived 'together'.   Around that time the Black Panthers were doing their 'thing' in the US  and that's where the "Speak White" (PQ myth) was used....  certainly never in QC.  I went back & forth between stints in QC...  and wherever the mood took me - for a number of years,  and luckily I always had a job waiting for me - in the Placement industry when I came 'home'.  Jobs were more than plentiful  at that time. By the way - the only  employers that ever discriminated when it came to language - were the French ones in the Montreal East area.  And believe me - I dealt with just about all of them in Greater Montreal.

I left QC   in 76 - after the Olympics - married - divorced :)...  and arrived back in QC  in 82.   And that's when for me - the reality of the new Que., hit me like a ton of bricks.   It took a number of years to absorb and accept that my home, my beautiful Quebeck - had turned into a carbon copy of Germany.   You know what happened so I won't go into the details.  Suffice to say,  getting a job in the new Quebec...  was impossible.  So I like many others - had to create a job for myself.  I enrolled my son in French school for the first 4 years  - where - being one of the only English kids - he was treated as such - by not only the kids, but more importantly by the Teachers.   After he developed a stutter (that he struggled with until his early 20's  and it of course profoundly changed the direction of his life)  I enrolled him in English School.  When that school - built by the English community in Brossard  - was taken and turned into a French school - with Claude Ryan leading that parade - my foray into activism began.
In 89  I finally gave up - and moved to Mississauga, where of course jobs were plentiful.   In 92 I returned (for what I believed would be a short while, because my father was diagnosed with cancer and told he had a year to live.  Once again, finding a job became the usual exercise of futility & the pain and heartache that goes with it.   The greatest pain though was - ALL my french friends had disappeared.  Having an anglo friend was 'not done'.   In 95 I started the 'Staying in Canada Movement' that ended up as the 'Umbrella Group' of all the movements - with over 30,000  members.  As leader of the Group, I was interviewed by CSIS...  to determine whether or not our group was a danger to society.  That was followed up by an invitation to meet with the President of the Federal Liberal Party - a very handsome man whose name I can't remember - and was served a coffee in the finest bone china cup I'd ever seen.   I was asked to trust the Liberal Party and assured that - after the election - the language nonsense would be rectified etc..etc...   which was sadly an unwanted but expected absolute lie.   And as you know - the 'soft' (as some call it) ethnic cleansing increased - big time.  Even Conrad Black paid a huge price - by daring to speak out against the 'language issue'. He is (even though he is a conservative) in my opinion one of the few 'leaders' that had the 'guts' to speak the truth,  and our 'beloved Cretien'  punished him severely for it.   Another example of the gifts given to the English community for its support of 'our' Liberal Party.  Many more examples and stories to tell - I will leave alone for the time being.

Therefore Dan, the ONLY  Unique thing about Quebec is,  that it has become - one of the only places in the world that has managed to ethnically cleanse  an entire population - almost out of existence - without one shot being fired.   And more incredibly - manage to get the full support of our Federal 'Leadership' .  Support that has devastated  more lives than one can ever begin to count.   What on earth is right - about 'recognizing'  the uniqueness  of  a 'nation'  that is NOT a nation at all!   The 'nation' that made up the population of Quebeck  were Quebeckers  that included its non francophone  community.  That is the definition of a nation.  That is what warrants the support and respect of a democracy.  And I know that you know and Mr. Ignatieff knows and everyone else knows - that recognizing the grotesque - barbaric - version of the present 'nation' of Quebec - was and is being achieved - by the Erasure of an entire population and its long standing presence from the Province.  All under the 'guise'  of  'recognizing'  the 'value' ???  of  what?  What 'value'  is there in denying the Rights and Freedoms of millions of Quebeckers that happen to be English speaking.  What 'value'  has come from - getting in bed with Duceppe & the Provincial Liberals  that have legalized the erasure of our presence?  What 'value'  is there in our Federal Politicians - throwing an entire segment of the population to the wolves?  What value is there in 'Starving Canadians - loyal Canadians - long suffering loyal Liberal supporters - into the garbage of poverty and pain.  

Dan - I and most of us are disgusted (the dismayed part has been whipped out of us)  and horrified over what the Leadership of our Country,  that has the temerity to still crow its the land of the strong and 'free' - when the exact opposite is the truth.  The results of  this type of 'leadership'  are very plain to see.   Not only has the 'majority' of  Quebec become - a shameful example of living, breathing bastion of racism and discrimination and repression.  It has proven without a shadow of a doubt - the outright ugliness and darkness that encompasses a 'society' that has been conditioned to 'feel and believe'  they are the 'superior' race.

Again, the ugliest part of it all - is sacrificing us - and leaving us 'captive' helpless and alone - to be victimized and vilified for over 30 years!   Our children have absolutely  No Idea what 'freedom - to live and grow and thrive and experience a sense of 'belonging and playing an active part of the community they have grown up in.   They take it for granted  that  they will NEVER be considered Equal.  They have NO idea what I'm (we're) talking about when I try to describe what 'the freedom to 'assimilate' means!  They KNOW - that the ONLY successful future they have - must be outside the  Province.  They KNOW they are Les Autres and they take it for granted!!   I refer to it as Canada's Great Shame & Dirty Secret - because that is exactly what it is.

You see, as soon as one segment of society is 'recognized'  that is the end of that 'society'  and we both (all) know that.  A nation a true nation is made up of many colors - just like a garden of many flowers.  That is what makes its Spirit blossom.   The other is nothing but a big bag of bullshit.  The ONLY ones who benefit from divisiveness  are the malignant dictatorships - 'leading us'  out of the what once was our enlightened promise land  into the darkness.  

A 'True Leader'  is one who - dares to tell the truth.  A 'Successful and  beloved Leader'  is one that tells the people what they already know  - and having been yearning to hear...  the TRUTH.   I have written to Mr. Ignatieff many many times about this subject and have also told him,  I believe, the country is starving for the leader that will - Say it as It Is - and make it a part of the platform - that promises that ALL Canadians are guaranteed Equality - including reinstating English as An Official Language in Quebec.  That Canada will not, ever again, support or  tolerate discrimination of ANY kind.   And I believe - that ALL  2.5 MILLION Autres - and the Francophone real Federalists (not the nationalist Liberal MP lunatics that have nothing nothing other than destroy the party in Quebec)  will stampede to Liberal Offices to support the Party.   And - more importantly - so will multi-millions of others in the rest of Canada.  That is the power of the Truth and that is what will rebuild this country. 

I can pretty much guarantee that as long as the Federal Liberals continue to sleep with our Oppressors the Quebec Vote - will decline even more. 

Well, my goodness - I can't believe my reply was as long as it is.   And again,  aside from - the 'Nation'  thing... (I suggest you  you delete that little tidbit from your article - leaving it in - will cost you too many votes - trust me on that one)  you are one of the only candidates (Philippe Allard is another one) demonstrating - that you do have the Leadership 'guts'  people are so very hungry for.    (Your writing ability - is extraordinary btw - bow to you)

I will wait for your permission to post this correspondence on my site  and will respect your decision.  My heart very much wants to believe in your 'doing what is right once elected)  and still yearns to once again believe in the party.  But I'm sure you'll understand why that is not possible at this time.  My heart though, does wish you the absolute best. 

I don't have the time to edit the above - so forgive any mishmash you may find.


I'm sure you've by now seen my posts on your facebook page  
Hi Dan, 

That's great Dan, because I believe  - a dialogue like this should be open for comment.  Especially given - it's a first.

I'll respond below within the text in green.

On Wed, May 26, 2010 at 3:50 PM, Daniel D. Veniez <> wrote:
Hi Didi: As far as publishing our exchange, that is entirely up to you. There's nothing I've said to you that I wouldn't say to anyone else. It's the truth of my own belief and experience.

The emotions that you convey are obviously still very raw. I sincerely hope that they can heal. It's time, Didi.
The healing can only begin - when the beating stops Dan.  You betcha it's time to heal.  It's been time ever since this living nightmare began!  Instead it not only continues - it gets worse every year and every election!  So, if you have any 'salve'  that will help start the long promised and long awaited 'healing process';  please load up the train full of 40 yard containers and ship it on over.  

The other side of this story that we haven't talked about is the real genesis of what ushered in those language laws and the PQ in the first place, and how the French people felt 30 years before our story began. In many ways, it was much worse that what we describe in our own experience.

Utter Bulls....t   Dan and I'll be telling you why below.

Here was a people that made up by far the majority in their cities and province, but were treated as second-class citizens in every conceivable way. 

I'm doing my best not to scream at the screen.

The Riopelle's of my family were oppressed by a domineering church and exploited mercilessly by their English employers. The English owned all the businesses, had all the good jobs, lived in the best neighbourhoods, had the best financed and run schools.

I absolutely agree, that not only the Riopelle's  but also, the French community was horribly oppressed (and exploited mercilessly) by the Catholic Church leadership - who were actively involved in all areas of Quebec's religious, business and political decisions. 

The MYTH of that ugly Anglo Employer  is a perfect example of: "Tell a lie often enough and it becomes an historical truth'   applies here.   I've heard these same ugly accusations  thousands of times.  And I will ask you, as I have countless Separatists - Nationalists - everyone really - that uses that Anglo Devil Employer -  - to justify - the need to Ethnic Cleanse - our 400 year long presence, out of our Province.  I'll get back to that later. 

I'd like you to list those horrible English employers Dan.  And would like you to detail the horrendous merciless exploitation - your family members and every other francophone claims - as the,   'yoke they and/or their forefathers - were forced to carry around their  'long suffering necks'.   List the Anglo - Who - What - Where - When and Why details Dan.   If you have them - you'll be the first person - in 30 Years that has the 'facts to back up these 'claims'   

For 30 years,  the only replies I've ever gotten  are examples like:  The Plains Of Abraham  - and the hanging of Louis Riel  and more useless other  'supposed' - horrific events that took place 2-3-400 years ago...  when the entire province and country - was still in its infancy consisting of - little more than small groups of settlements - that, by the way had destroyed the native community - and then had the temerity to 'claim' they were its 'founding people'.  

If as you claim,  members of your own family - were victims of this merciless exploitation -  then you must have the details to back it up.    I do know  - that when we arrived in 1954 -  there was NEVER a mention or claim of that sort,  from ANY of the 24 year long, close second family relationship,  I enjoyed with my francophone friends, colleagues including, the francophone community I dealt with every day!  Not one!  Believe me it  would have made an unforgettable impression on me, given I was a German immigrant!

Nor was there any mention of it in the French media EVER - that I can recall - because my friends or their parents or grandparents would have - of course - been victims of it.  At the very least - at least ONE of them, would have been shouting the news,  from the rooftop of every building - throughout the province and the City Of Montreal - no?   Or at the very least - there would be a viable - history of it - that one could easily access - no?  After all,  99%  of Quebec's Leadership had been and was Francophone - notwithstanding the few - small pockets with an English Mayor here and there.

And,  Montreal with its majority English population;   tell me Dan,  can you recall  an English Mayor at its Helm?  Or an English Premier of the Province?  I do recollect a vague mention of one somewhere - but will have to do a google to find out.   

Tell me Dan:  These terrible English employers, you know - the ones that were instrumental in the Provinces growth and prosperity -the ones that  opened and invested their own hard earned money, to create businesses and plants ..outside Montreal - throughout the rest of unilingual  French ruled Quebec,  who for the first time, provided real jobs with security and decent wages - did so to create a slave workforce?

Note: The political and business  francophone leadership that controlled the Province - hadn't provided any jobs that I know of - had they?   Nor had the Almighty Church that continued preaching its,  "Stay Away From Those Anglo Devils'  mantra - preaching its,  'Quit school after the 6th grade, go work the land for a pittance, and make babies, and tithe  the  Church, here to protect you from those filthy 'Anglo Devils' , that are going to burn in hell for eternity - because they killed Christ'  vomit !   The same Church that knowingly and deliberately kept its 'flock' out of the reaches of a higher education - because it guaranteed more generations of  poor and unskilled  obedience.
The ugly English bosses that - happened to be and speak only English - as they had every right to be- just as the Franco bosses and population had every right to speak and live only in French -  committed the crime of  hiring  unilingual francophones, and committed the worst insult of all,  speaking to them in English?   And dared to suggest staff that wanted to be promoted to management, become proficient in English!  Oh the horror of it all... those damn English Devils daring to make that a criteria for promotion, enabling them to deal with English customers, crucial to the company's survival;   and those English bosses added insult to injury by offering to pay for English courses!   (I know that most of the Major Corps., in the Montreal area - offered not only paid English courses - they offered to pay for higher education  as well!)       Something, a successful business man like you, understands - no? 

Back to examples of these terrible bosses:  Here's one  a nationalist gave me only a couple of months ago:   "My grandfather's English boss  was arrogant!!"  Of course, he never did supply me with the name of that 'arrogant English boss or company.  His grandfathers boss was arrogant!  That's the best and only proof he could come up with ?  I know he looked - because it took him 2 days to come up with that ditty! 

Now Dan    The hell hole, criminal  arrogance of,  30 years of,  'French  Bosses' - Provincial - Federal - Municipal and  Corporate,  who of course, wouldn't dream of hiring an Anglo Quebecker - - no matter how skilled and  fluent they are:  Was demonstrated -  less than a year ago, when Charest  (looking to cement the captive Anglo vote) - hired the Anglo - Saba - to clean up the 10 billion dollar:   "Oops   'mistake'  the "Pas des maudit Anglophones ici' -  Caisse Brass made.  The  hire -   that made, every single media outlet headlines, for weeks - and created  "a public outcry' from:  French media - to good old - Queen of her own castle - Pauline Marios  - decrying the hiring of an Anglo, to a position of authority in Quebec!!   

I will leave the detailed 30 history of Anglo abuse for another time.  But would like to get your feedback on,  30+ years  of documented proof - of  not only enduring daily abuse - as an unwanted reviled - autres - but also, the proof - of being systematically - starved out of the workforce altogether!  I believe it is at the very least - comparable to that Anglo devil boss - that dared to be arrogant - to some 'guys' grandfather, no ?  So does that give us the right - and will the federal government support us - like they have les francophonie - to demand a like  revenge ?

The English ran the federal government and dominated the provinces. To say that Quebec was an equal partner in the federation in those days is a cruel joke. It was far from that.

What on earth are you talking about Dan.  The English happened to be the ones that pioneered the country - and settled throughout Canada.   No one stopped  the francophones from doing the same thing!  They chose not to!  It is only a natural linguistic reality - that if the settlers  are English - they are going to speak to each other in English - and develop their community in English!  After all - Quebec SURELY did the same thing throughout - no - save for the small area English Quebecers settled - in called Greater Montreal!!   I don't remember ANY Anglophones screeching for equal partnership within Quebec - even though they had every right to do so.  And saying they 'dominated'  the provinces - like it was some kind of freaking crime against francophones  - is stunning!

Quebec - being an "equal part of the federation"  means being an equal part of the federation - you know - every province in the country was an  equal part of the federation  - that made up the NATION called CANADA.

Laurier, Cartier, St-Laurent, and any other ministers of the crown, could not get a briefing document or verbal briefing in their mother tongue if it happened to be French. They could not speak to their own officials in french because no one could. They were all English. In the sixties and up to the late seventies, Jean Chretien a senior federal minister from Quebec , as head and accountable for massive government departments, couldn't speak his own native tongue - a language of one of the two founding people's of Canada - most anywhere in the government of Canada. That even extended to deliberations of the cabinet.

Let me tell you something:  Jean Chretien - as a Federal Leader and/or Representative  had an absolute responsibility to be able to communicate with the Canadian - English speaking public - that trusted him enough to elect him - to represent ALL Canadians - not only French Canadians!   And are you suggesting that Laurier - Cartier - St. Laurent as ministers of the Crown - in the country of Canada - with English taxpayers as well as French - also NOT be able to communicate in English - you know, the MAJORITY language of the country.  You know the ones who won the freaking Plains of Abraham war  - and the ones embraced and encouraged the growth and prosperity of the French community.    What the hell - are you talking about.  I know you are an educated man ...  and you must know  that if there is a population that settles an area - that will be the language used in that area!  That's only common sense. And don't tell me - that Laurier and Cartier and St-Laurent  and all the others - couldn't get government paid translators to interpret whatever documentation they wanted.  Again, I stress - that as crown representatives of the Canadian people - they most certainly had an obligation to be able to  speak or learn English. 

This was the reality for most of Canada's first 100 years. The Quiet Revolution started to change that. And assuming Quebec's rightful place within Canada was the motivation for Trudeau, Marchand, and Pelletier's entering federal politics. They made a massive difference. But so too did the movement, started by Lessage, Johnson, and Levesque, to give Quebec and les Quebecois their rightful place in the federation.

As for the 'reality of Canada's first 100 years.  Were you there?  I hope you remember, what you are talking about were events that happened  more than 300 freaking years ago!!    And why are you NOT  mentioning the English founding partner founders  of Quebec;  that at one time were the freaking majority in Quebec!  The ones who helped GROW  the French language in Quebec and never freaking protested that they were in danger of being 'assimilated'  by the growing 'Sea of French that surrounded them !   Nor did they ever suggest - that because of such  'fear'  - French was no longer an official language in Quebec - nor did they close - 99% of french schools -  98% of English businesses - and 99% of English  media,  nor did they make it a freaking Provincial government - pass time - to denigrate, malign, insult and invite the francophones that didn't like it - to 'go back to France,  nor did they force ANY francophone child into an English school  and they most certainly DID NOT go on a malicious - barbaric quest to starve any francophone out of the workforce, nor did they close the door to the entire french population and after many lifetimes of living in harmony - together, did they cut off all ties and friendships  and deny francophones entry into their 'nouveau' pure English only community!   The francophone population were the ones that did exactly that and you know it Dan.   And NOTHING will ever be justifiable about that.  Especially freaking events that happened  300 years ago!   Should we go back to the barbarism of France - and use THAT as a reason - to erase the francophone community?  It's insane to even think of doing something like that.

continued...  tomorrow..


  1. PART I

    My first impression from Dan Veniez's letter to Didi is that it is a credit to him that he took the time and effort to write such a detailed and heartfelt response. Kudos to him.

    I do, however, have a few significant differences of opinion which I would like to express:

    1)Quoting Michael Ignatieff, Dan writes:

    "(Quebec) entered the federation on the strict understanding that its distinguishing features would receive special protection in the new federal government of Canada."

    Quite true.

    However, what seems to always be overlooked when the special constitutional arrangements made for Quebec are brought up is that, equally important, there were special arrangements for its minority population. Part of the "deal" that is Confederation is that if the newly created provincial legislature of Quebec was to ever violate the rights and freedoms of individuals or the minority community of Quebec that the central government(i.e., federal government in Ottawa) would step in a protect the minority by virtue of its veto power.

    This veto power is found in numerous constitutional provisions: disallowance, reservation, the remedial educational powers of sections 93(3) and (4) of the BNA Act, the declarative power, all modes of taxation. In addition, other provisions of the BNA Act were included to protect minority electoral ridings -- both provicially and federally -- from encroachment by the majority.

    The simple truth is that these powers were never, ever used by the central government to protect the minority non-francophone population of Quebec when human rights-violating and minority rights-violating legislation -- starting with Bill 22 and then continuing with Bill 101 and other legislation through the years -- was passed by the Quebec National Assembly.

    Nor were these powers ever used to protect francophone minorities in other provinces.

    So, yes, Mr. Veniez, by all means let us celebrate the special status accorded Quebec within the Canadian constitutional arrangement which you are so proud of. But in the same breath let us not also forget the promise that is part and parcel of that special arrangement, one that has been broken time and time again by the federal government.

    2) Again quoting Mr. Ignatieff, Mr. Veniez writes:

    "Quebec’s Charter of Rights—and its language laws—balance the rights of the majority, with equal rights for linguistic and other minorities."

    They do no such thing.

    Firstly, the "balance" between the "rights" of the majority -- as expressed through its National Assembly in Quebec City -- and the "equal rights for linguistic and other minorities" was the one struck in the "deal" of Confederation mentioned in point #1...not through a Charter of Rights that contains a "notwithstanding" clause (yes, Quebec's charter has one, too!).

    There is no harm in having charters of rights; indeed, the more the merrier. But they have to work! And neither the Quebec nor the Canadian charters do.

  2. PART II

    3)Further quoting Mr. Ignatieff, Dan writes:

    "To recognize Quebec—and Aboriginal peoples—as nations within the fabric of Canada is not to make some new concession. It is simply to acknowledge a fact."

    I am always amused when aboriginal people are invoked in comparison with Quebecers or as a justification for recognizing Quebec as a "nation within...Canada".

    Firstly, Mr. Ignatieff's statement above is factually at odds with what he and the members of his party and the rest of Parliament recognized in that infamous resolution that they passed. The resolution recognized the "people" of Quebec as forming a nation within Canada, not the entity of the province of Quebec as forming a nation with Canada, as he writes as quoted above.

    Here is the wording of the resolution:

    "That this House recognizes that the Québécois form a nation within a united Canada."

    A provincial entity and a people within that entity are two separate and different considerations.

    What Mr. Ignatieff -- and, by extension, Mr. Veniez -- again fails to acknowledge is the existence of another "people" in Quebec: Canadian people.

    Specifically, I refer to what can arguably be referred to as the most loyal Canadian people in Quebec: the anglophone and ethnic peoples who, first and foremost, recognize themselves as Canadians, not Quebecers...a people who, on two occasions, "saved" Canada by voting "no" in independence referendums by tallies of 99% (that's the conclusion of demographic experts, not myself). Without this loyal vote of the non-francophones, the "yes" side would have won in both 1980 and 1995.

    Note that the reward that the non-francophones received for their loyalty to Canada was to be spat upon by Canada.

    More importantly, the invocation of aboriginal peoples in this equation must necessarily bring up the special constitutional and legal arrangements for aboriginals, such as Canada's Indian Act.

    The Indian Act is a race law. And, again, this is not me making this observation but the Supreme Court of Canada and a bevy of legal and academic scolars. Two separate and distinct sets of human rights are created by virtue of the Indian Act and inequality results from this race law.

    But the coupling with Quebec is appropriate because the hate law/race law Bill 101 does the same thing: divide Quebecers into two separate and distinct civil rights categories.

    This is created as a result of Bill 101's language of education provisions, working in conjunction with the horrible section 23 of Canada's so-called Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    If you want to know why these two laws are anathema to freedom and equality, please refer to the following:


    In conclusion: Mr. Veniez's wide-eyed love of of an allegedly harmonious and tolerant Canada as envisioned by Michael Ignatieff is one that ignores and snubs its nose at those values most cherished in free and democratic societies: equality; protection from the tyranny of the majority; freedom of speech, to name but a few. It is time for leadership in Canada to stop spewing the same pap that we are continually fed...propaganda that blindly ignores Quebec's blatant violation of human rights (aided, abetted, and enabled by the Parliament of Canada) because it is so eager to maintain Quebec within Canada.

    Canada is a wonderful concept. But there are other concepts that are more important and more wonderful...and should take priority over Canadian unity. One of those concepts is individual rights.

    It is high time that individual rights take precedence over Canadian unity rather than the other way around.

  3. Wow Tony!! A thousand thanks for your fantastic post. You obviously have done your homework and then some. Bravo, bravo to you. I only wish - our Federal and Provincial MP's, from ALL Parties, had done the same - because I doubt very much they would be holding onto their obvious ignorant Quebec history beliefs. Then again: I know that since the 'Quiet Revolution' Quebec's history books have undergone a 'radical change'... with too many omissions and 'mistakes' to go into here. Therefore, I like to believe that the 'truth' was kept from the students and the bullshit they were force-fed throughout their lives - is not much better than the bullshit the 'Church' fed.

    In any event: I also FIRMLY believe that EVERY SINGLE POLITICIAN in our country - has an absolute responsibility - to thoroughly EDUCATE themselves - and take the time and effort to guarantee - they know of what they speak - before they voice an opinion and/or belief! After all - they ask us to TRUST their PROMISE, they are here to REPRESENT and SPEAK and ACT on OUR BEHALF and the BILLIONS of dollars we are allowing them to access - to do so.

    Again, I too very much admire and appreciate Dan Veniez finally opening this very, very important door of communication and hope our elected MP's and MNA's - take a lesson from him about what 'speaking WITH the public' really means.

  4. DidiM said...

    Wow Tony!! A thousand thanks for your fantastic post. You obviously have done your homework and then some. Bravo, bravo to you. I only wish - our Federal and Provincial MP's, from ALL Parties, had done the same - because I doubt very much they would be holding onto their obvious ignorant Quebec history beliefs. Then again: I know that since the 'Quiet Revolution' Quebec's history books have undergone a 'radical change'... with too many omissions and 'mistakes' to go into here. Therefore, I like to believe that the 'truth' was kept from the students and the bullshit they were force-fed throughout their lives - is not much better than the bullshit the 'Church' fed.

    In any event: I also FIRMLY believe that EVERY SINGLE POLITICIAN in our country - has an absolute responsibility - to thoroughly EDUCATE themselves - and take the time and effort to guarantee - they know of what they speak - before they voice an opinion and/or belief! After all - they ask us to TRUST their PROMISE, they are here to REPRESENT and SPEAK and ACT on OUR BEHALF and the BILLIONS of dollars we are allowing them to access - to do so.

    Again, I too very much admire and appreciate Dan Veniez finally opening this very, very important door of communication and hope our elected MP's and MNA's - take a lesson from him about what 'speaking WITH the public' really means.
    May 28, 2010 8:02 AM

  5. Why have a country with two official languages, but enforce both languages only in Quebec, (example road signs, although now they managed to have places with only french signs, good on them).

    Quebec french school has a very strong english program implemented from elementary through high-school. While english schools on the west coast have little obligatory french courses. How can you call Canada a bilingual country when most of it's country cant speak french. I think Quebec is it's own distinct society and they should maintain their culture however they can. It's funny how many complain about the unfairness towards the english in quebec, I was english in Quebec and learned french and received lots of respect for practicing my french. Now I can understand, why Quebec needs to separate from selfish conservative Canada

  6. I'm sorry I missed your post back in August 'anonymous' - because - I'm pretty stunned by your blatant LIES re: "Quebec french school has a very strong english program". And using the west coast as a comparison to the ethnic cleansing going on in Quebec is beyond ridiculous: but is the 'typical separatist' response - used to put Canadians on the defensive; and there is NOTHING they need to be on the defensive for! We are talking about the current CRIMES being committed AGAINST Anglos and non francophones in Quebec. Our English language has ILLEGALLY been ERASED - as has our culture - our ability to freaking work and grow and thrive... It;s called ETHNIC CLEANSING - by the United Nations. And for your information - the French language and culture has NEVER been in jeopardy - ever and NO CIVILIZED country - ERASES an Entire culture and language of 2.5 MILLION people - on the pretense of protecting their distinctness!! That is what HITLER did.
    And there is no way you are English monsieur. Your writing and lies of course - make it clear what you are... which is first and foremost a disciple of the lunacy that has been allowed to destroy the English population living in Quebeck!