Keeping it Real…

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Good News From Quebec!! Sort of….

November 22nd, 2012 · 11 Comments

How about it!  It really should NOT have to be seen as a historic event …but you can’t ignore what just happened in Quebec, in Montreal …. more than 100 years in coming: a new Montreal mayor, Michael Applebaum, who is not only Anglophone …but Jewish as well!

Mazel tov!!  Felicitations! Congratulations!  Welcome to the 21 st Century … at least for a while.

Of courser, we have to keep it real: Applebaum was NOT elected; he was chosen by other members of city council to temporarily replace Mayor Gerald Tremblay who stepped down after  Quebec’s latest corruption probe revealed all kinds of sleaziness in his administration.

I find it all particularly interesting for several reasons: because I was born and raised in Quebec; because I obtained my degree in Political Science at Sir George Williams University in Montreal; because I still like Montreal very much (going there in three weeks): and, because I have on this blog exposed and faced up to Quebec on its past corruption http://harveyoberfeld.ca/blog/quebec-corruption-je-me-souviens/  and continuing racism http://harveyoberfeld.ca/blog/stop-giving-quebec-free-racism-pass/ well before the latest corruption probe.

And also because too many of our politically-correct or  frightened politicians and media have so long  turn a blind eye to it .

The choice of Applebaum by Montreal’s city council to head the powerful Executive Council gives me some hope …very little, to be honest … but enough to point he was chosen as the new mayor… the first Anglo to hold the job in more than 100 years.

Applebaum, a realtor,  has represented an largely Anglo and Jewish populated ara of Monteal since 1994. He defeated Richard Deschamps for the interim job to replace Tremblay in a city council vote 31 to 29 last week.

But here’s where it gets interesting.

The choice of Applebaum  came not only after Quebeckers elected a new separatist-orientated provincial government only months ago … but just DAYS after the new Parti Quebecois Education Minister Pierre Duchesne referred to English as “a foreign language”.

Take that Duchesne!

Applebaum in fact received votes for the mayor’s job from members of all parties on city council.

Of course, some of Querbec’s racists are not happy: even though Applebaum speaks French fluently … has made many speeches in French, debated in French  and even  made his entire maiden speech as mayor entirely in French … there have been sniffles that he has “an accent”.

To the bastille!! Quelqu’un qui parle francais avec un accent anglais … accent d’un etranger!  Taberbnacle! La langue francais va disparaitre!

Good news that Montreal councillors did not knuckle under to the nationalist bigots.  And the Jewish mayor says he has no plans to ask that the large crucifix that hangs on the wall behind the mayor’s chair in the council chamber be taken down. (I personally think it would hilarious if he put up a Star of David! :)

But let’s keep it real: and realize Applebaum’s interim appointment lasts until next year, when Montrealers go to the polls.

I wish him well; I hope he does a great job; I’d love to see him run an honest, clean government … so much so that he could actually win re-election … from people throughout the city.

But I won’t bet on it …yet.

Harv Oberfeld

 

Tags: Media · National

11 responses so far ↓

  • 1 morry // Nov 22, 2012 at 11:41 am

    It’s always good news when the talent pool is widened… this helps in trying to get the best talent possible.

    Enjoy your upcoming visit to Montreal. I have always enjoyed that city.

  • 2 Larry Bennett // Nov 22, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    I, on the other hand, have never enjoyed that lovely city, but then, one supposes there are any Quebecois who have not enjoyed my home town – Calgary! (who wudda thunk, eh?) Might we presume you to be Jewish Harve, and that you would not know that the term “Tabernacle” is offensive to practicing Catholics, or the religious community as a whole, though on the other hand, it would be hilarious if a Star of David were mounted in the council chambers! After all, “tous les beaux esprits se recontrent”! And quel catastrophe! that he should be another flaneur or part of the same “generation perdu” and that “plus ca change, plus ca reste la meme chose” Any way, that is pretty much the extent of my French, except to say, we hope it is not a case of “..c’est un fil de pute, mais c’est notre fils de pute”!

    (Response: I know they say “tabernacle” all the time… think I even heard even on tv…and don’t recall it being beeped.My point was how exasperated some nationalists are that the guy speaks French with an accent: who cares if he is capable of beig understood and governing well. But that “pure lain” …pure wool …does linger on, which is really unfortunate. h.o)

  • 3 Larry Bennett // Nov 22, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Yes, I agree 100%, and only mentioned the fact that religious connotation in swearing in Quebec, “calix, tabernac, hostie,” are considered far more repugnant than sexual references, and thus – are more prevalent! Slightly off topic, but just heard at SunMedia, that Trudeau, a couple of years back was interviewed saying that Quebec born P.M.s are obviously far better than anyone who could come from, oh say – Alberta. As they say, he has some “splainin” to do!

    (Response: If he did say that, proves my point about his arrogance. h.o)

  • 4 e.a.f. // Nov 22, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    so he speaks french with an accent. so do a lot of other people who live in Quebec. Whats the problem if you have an accent. They need to get over that or they miss out on a lot of talent.

    After all the corruption stink it would appear the council has decided they don’t care about language or religion. They want an honest mayor. Good on them!

    Voting for people based on ethnicity is what leads to polarization & alienation & war.

  • 5 Gary // Nov 23, 2012 at 10:51 am

    I personally have never met a Quebecer who could speak French without an accent. In fact it has been my experience that a Quebecer in France speaking French CANADIAN is hard to understand.
    So let’s tell it like it should be. He speaks FRENCH CANADIAN with an accent.

  • 6 Diverdarren // Nov 23, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    I appreciate your position on what you term “nationalist bigots”, but you could look at it from another angle. The elected representatives did not faithfully represent the electorate’s position.

    If the people of Montreal don’t want an Anglophone-Jew as their mayor, then the act of the councilors imposing their views in opposition to the views of the people they represent is tyranny.

    I’m sure you would agree. That is the general theme of your Premier Clark blogs, isn’t it? Clark is tyrannical because she has ascended to the office without going to the people for a vote. You, freely admit the new mayor of Montreal could’t gain the office if he ran for it. I don’t see much difference, but you approve of Applebaum while disproving of Clark.

    Perhaps you save the title of tyrant for only those you disagree with.

    (Response: I do agree. As I said Applebaum’s rise ot the top job is good news …sort of. But it reminds me of Clark, who I refer to as the elected, unmandated premier. Nevertheless it is good news that the majority on council who are NOT Anglo, chose him over a francaphone counterpart. I know that seems so “so what” here ,but believe me in Qurbec, it IS progress. I hope he does a great job because then the civic election will be a very good barometer of where things really stand in Montreal, if not Quebec province. h.o)
    big

  • 7 Mo // Nov 23, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    @Diverdarren

    There is actually a difference in the Clark / Applebaum situation.

    Applebaum was chosen to be the interim Mayor by elected councillors. He himself was elected.

    Clark , was appointed by her party. And had no support. save one, of the elected MLAs in her party. I believe there is are many questions around the number of “party” members that seemed to manifest themselves that voted for her.

    She is totally an un-elected premier

    (Response: To be fair, Clark was elected as an MLA … so I do see a similarity (both replacing previous leaders who resigned in disgrace). Applebaum though has only a year left in this council’sterm so an election isn’t that far away. h.o)

  • 8 13 // Nov 24, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Mo if you want a scare go to the NW audio vault for Friday from 3pm to 4pm . Call in poll “who would you vote for”. BC Lib 14 NDP 4 Green2 Ind 2.
    Ill bet the Liberal and NDP backroom types were excited by that pole.

  • 9 Henri // Nov 24, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Nice to see those numbers you posted “13″
    What I see by those number is , should Dix and the NDP keep sitting on their ass in the back ground thinking the family jewels are going to fall in their laps by simply sitting there looking pretty and doing squat they will once again be regulated to back seats again and deservedly so…

  • 10 kootcoot // Nov 24, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    I find the idea that the new mayor of Montreal speaks with an accent quite amusing because my mother’s family from actual France, think everybody in Quebec speaks with a hillbilly accent in either language.

    (Response: The people of France think Quebecois speak a terrible French. An older Francaphone from rural Quebec I met once on vacation tour in Europe told me he hated France; went into a store and the clerk responded to his French with “Un moment monsieur, je vais chercher un interpret”. He was not amused. But I’d bet HE could be mayor of Montreal without the nationalists sniffing at him. h.o)

  • 11 gary T // Nov 25, 2012 at 8:20 am

    I don’t hold out much hope for Quebec after seeing this on MSN this morning.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2012/11/24/montreal-anti-semetic-radio.html

    (Response: Disgraceful. That’s the Quebec I KNOW still exists … despite all the denials from those with their heads-in-the-sand . And it will continue as long as Canadian leaders of all levels say nothing for fear of losing votes by offending the bigots! That says a lot right there. h.o)