Bring back democracy Quebec

January 29, 2020

Jean Francois Roberge

Since Quebec Education Minister Jean-Francois Roberge suspended the democratically elected English Montreal School Board on November 6, 2019 and replaced all commissioners with one person, the Honourable Marlene Jennings, I have been seething.

I subscribe to Winston Churchill’s idea, “…that democracy is the worst form of goverment except for all other forms that have been tried….”

And when a governent suspends a democratically elected board, the need for citizen vigilance increases. In addition to the appointment of Jennings, accounting and management firm Deloitte was appointed. Quebec has chosen to hire a very respectable accounting firm, but at what cost?

And despite my request to learn how much Jennings is being paid, my waiting is going into its third week, today, I sought information on how much Deloitte is pocketing.

I also asked for a copy of the Decree authorizing the appointments of Jennings and Deloitte. Being impatient, I received a link to the decree by a learned librarian. The Lieutenant-Governor J. Michel Doyon’s office confirmed it had been ratified. I may complain to a higher authority.

Of course, being Quebec, the only copy of the Decree stripping voters of their vote, stripping the powers of the English Montreal School Board, was in French.

A bientot.

Think Local, Edit Global

January 23, 2020

{If you don’t want to miss the latest Lockeblog post, Subscribe!}

I just find the world becoming strange with technological advances. The following item was in reference to poet M.W. Jaeggle.

mcgill poetry matters Jaeggle Screenshot from 2020-01-23 13:36:21

I came upon this tidbit HERE

The North America Free Trade Agreement II

January 22, 2020

As Canada will soon decide whether or not to sign a renewed North America Free Trade Agreement, here’s a poem. Feel free to share.


Auto parts, pots, aluminum, and steel

Beef, barley, beggars, and MBAs

All, all part of the deal

Leaving me sad with financial malaise.

As negotiators negote and negoo

They work on levels beyond me, beyond you

They profess an air of fairest trade

But, but, it just ain’t true.

Sitting at tables opposite and opulent

They plot how to gain an advantage monopulent

You’d think they were trading apples or horses

As they shelter and shield secret discourses.

This is the nature of the creature NAFTA

No self-respecting leader would sign it, unless they hafta.

What’s an 11 letter word for inept?

January 21, 2020

UPDATE: 15 days later, no reply from Quebec Minister of Education Jean-Francois Roberge. And he claims the English Montreal School Board was dysfunctional, necessitating its suspension.

Jean Francois Roberge

Quebec Education Minister Jean-Francois Roberge

On Jan 14, I sent Will Shortz, New York Times Crossword Puzzle editor, an email. He responded in 30 minutes.

On Jan 14, I sent Jean-Francois Roberge, Quebec Minister of  Education and Higher Education an email. Seven days later I’ve not received a reply.

Roberge email Jan 14 Screenshot 2 edit

What do I conclude? Obviously, there are problems in Quebec’s ability to communicate.

Eighty Suitcases

January 12, 2020

When an error’s been made who’s to be blamed /

In a world geared to protect time and speed /

When eighty suitcases remain unclaimed? //

I am poet Lokshtanov here named /

I write of injustice, intolerance indeed /

When an error’s been made who’s to be blamed? //

No man is safe when one is wrongly framed

But desire for revenge is angrily agreed

When eighty suitcases remain unclaimed.

I grieve over life and families maimed

On Reconciliation’s bone I feed

When an error’s been made who’s to be blamed?

What conclusion have nations proclaimed

Will bonds of peace and broken hearts lead

When eighty suitcases remain unclaimed?

As a human I stand, sit ashamed

From blast of terror I cannot be freed

When an error’s been made who’s to be blamed

When eighty suitcases remain unclaimed?


Montreal’s REM Tabernac Express

January 5, 2020

by Jack Locke

Quebec has no intention of streetwalking for a piece of red rag

Landry BBC_1135490_landry_300

Bernard Landry image from the BBC, 2001.

All aboard the Tabernac Express!

Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante is adamant that a new Réseau électrique métropolitain (REM) train station in Griffintown should be named after the late Quebec Premier Bernard Landry.

Landry was leader of the separatist Parti Quebecois and premier from 2001 to 2003.

But should the Government of Canada give $1.28 billion to a Montreal metropolitan train project that names one of its stations after the Quebec politician who called the Canadian flag “pieces of red rag?”

In January 2001, then deputy-premier Landry was incensed that Canada demanded the Quebec City Aquarium be forced to fly the Canadian Maple Leaf flag for 40 years for an $18 million contribution.

“We are not for sale. Quebec has no intention of streetwalking for a piece of red rag or anything else,” Landry said in French.

Upon there being a national outcry, Landry apologized for remarks he said were misinterpreted.

But his apology was largely not accepted.

Even former Action Democratic Quebec leader Mario Dumont immediately condemned Landry’s remarks.

“Le chef de l’Action démocratique du Québec, Mario Dumont, condamne à son tour les propos controversés de Bernard Landry au sujet des bouts de chiffon rouge,” reported Quebec television station TVA.

The majority of the funding for the $6.04-billion project is being provided by Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) an investor that manages funds primarily for public and parapublic pension and insurance plans.

Plante announced her plan for the station naming in a November 6, 2019 series of social-media tweets.

Plante Twitter Nov 6 2019 Screenshot from 2020-01-05 19:27:52

(More to come)

A School Board of One

December 30, 2019

by J.J. Locke

EMSB logo

I think there is a bad trend developing in Québec.

The Gouvernement du Québec seems to be ruling without wisdom.

First there was Bill 21, the Piss on Religions law. When the Québec government passed its ‘secularism law’ and invoked the notwithstanding clause it conveyed the message they don’t give a tourtiere for Québecers who are not of their stripe. They insisted, no visible signs of religion if you want a public service job.

And if the recent dialogue between Premier Legault and California Governor Gavin Newsom is any indication, it’s okay to be Catholic when the need arises. It was a sad sight.

With Québec’s passing of Bill 21 and the Government of Canada’s passing over of Bill 21, I don’t give the federal Charter of Rights and Freedoms much credence, especially when the federal government allows it to be trampled upon without raising an eyebrow. The Charter becomes useless hollow words when no one stands up for the noble rights it embraces. The Charter means nothing when governments cast it to the wind as if it were prairie dust in planting season.

Move ahead to Québec’s latest invasions upon the rights of citizens. What can be more important than electing the people of your choice to oversee the teaching of your children? I mean, electing school boards.

The future of our society depends on the well-meaning efforts of our elected school board officials.

When I witnessed and reported in 2015 that members of the English Montreal School Board(EMSB) were consuming wine at taxpayer expense during a meeting recess, I thought they ought be informed that this behaviour was unacceptable, and then they could move forward.

But alas, the current Government of Québec is using this example as one rationale for their latest foray into dictatorial governance: The suspension of the EMSB.

And rather than replace the board with an equal number of substitutes, they have replaced the entire board with one individual.

At present, the decisions and directives of the Board of One are nowhere to be seen. Though approval of contracts and other major determinations are made, at present no minutes or records are being publicly disclosed.

I am sure government administrator Marlene Jennings is a fine person. But there are clear signs that see is not the person I voted for. As she was anointed EMSB administrator, I know for a fact I did not vote for her.

On January 5, 2015, CBC radio morning man Mike Finnerty interviewed Jennings, a defeated Liberal Party member of parliament. Here is a portion of their discussion:

Finnerty: There was an article a few months ago that suggested you’d had a meeting with Francois Legault.
Jennings: I did. I had two….Francois Legault on his part was trying to convince me to run for his party, to stand for his party….
Finnerty: So, did he convince you?
Jennings: Um, pretty much…I’m seriously considering his offer.
Finnerty: So you might stand for the Coalition Avenir Québec?
Jennings: I might.

For reasons unknown, she did not run in the last provincial election. Politics, it is a game for some folks. It evidently raises its ugly head every time I turn my head. Premier Legault is a crafty politician, who, obviously knows how to pick his people. He has picked Madame Jennings to replace my representative on the EMSB. He could have picked Mother Theresa and I would still be upset that my small expression of opinion, my vote, has been cast aside so the CAQuistes can make a beachhead on the island of Montreal.

But the thing that bothers me most is something that Marlene Jennings thinks is unimportant.

In a recent Tweet, Jennings was responding to a journalist who did not receive a Christmas postcard from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his lovely family. Jennings offered her postcard to the journalist in consolation. But here is the kicker.

“I’m really not a big lover of kids,” wrote the sole English Montreal School Board administrator.

You just lost my vote of confidence Marlene.

Marlene Jennings Kids Screenshot from 2019-12-20 14:56:35

I Think Legault Is An Alcatholic

December 13, 2019

Here’s my latest poem, it’s a villanelle. Feel free to comment or share. Thanks.

I think Legault is an alcatholic /

He thinks Bill 21 is nouveau and nice /

His manner of governing melancholic. /

A law against symbols is symbolic /

Of someone who’s not read Louis Brandeis /

I think Legault is an alcatholic. /

To ban a headscarf is vitriolic

In a land that is known for snow and ice

His manner of governing melancholic.

The Quebecois are a people bucolic

We boil down syrup not once but twice

I think Legault is an alcatholic.

When Duplessis ruled he ruled diabolic

And Francois follows Maurice’s advice

His manner of governing melancholic.

The Premier yearns to be nationolic

He privately prays to live in paradise

I think Legault is an alcatholic

His manner of governing melancholic.


In Laval, Across The River From Montreal, Bela

December 1, 2019

The escalator never stops rolling never /

And if you happen not to hold the handrail /

Camacho will arrest you and the 24 minutes /

Will seem like forever, forever. /

The law is not written on a sliver /

of paper, nor on a poster nor picto /

For the law is not written when Camacho

determines to deliver it in his own manner.

Tell me your name so I can issue a ticket

Tell me your name Madame

Monsieur, I do not have to tell you my name

Monsieur, let me tell you where you can stick it.

In cases such as these, handcuffs come in handy

And Camacho used his swiftly

The law was not applied correctly

And Madame’s lawyers were dandy.

It only took a decade

For the rotten record to be rewritten

Bela, Bela, Bela,

Justice forks when it’s decidedly delayed.

At the end of the day came a long arm

When the court issued a lengthy judgment

Coté laid down the law played down the harm

In the candy store it would be called a fudgement.

Middle Diddle

November 25, 2019

for M.F.

FortierMona_LIB CTV

Mona Fortier, Canada’s Minister of Middle Class Prosperity


Great! a Minister to watch the middle-class
As poor upper-class folks are being ignored
Who will sustain our portfolios, alas?

Canada’s become a land of taxing grass
Meanwhile, the legal stuff I cannot afford
Great! a Minister to watch the middle-class.

Good God! they’ve put a carbon levy on gas
Whilst alternatives, they’ve not well explored
Who will sustain our portfolios, alas?

When the next election comes to pass
I will recall all the friends they reward
Great! a Minister to watch the middle-class.

As stock prices fall short sellers amass
Considerable wealth, forcing me to hoard
Who will sustain our portfolios, alas?

The lower will be left, left on their ass
I hope the rulers fall flat on their sword
Great! a Minister to watch the middle-class
Who will sustain our portfolios, alas?