Archive for January, 2015

Montreal School Board Commissioner lixiviates information, prepares for flogging

January 31, 2015

by Jack Locke

The English Montreal School Board(EMSB) has voted to hire legal counsel to prosecute a complaint against Commissioner Julien Feldman before the board’s Ethics Commissioner for lixiviating public information.

State security secrets? Private personnel data? Lixiviation on the scale of Wikileaks? No.

He is accused of lixiviating the proposed salaries of the EMSB board of commissioners, of which he is one.

Feldman is accused of lixiviating the information to a citizen prior to a council meeting. The board has a rule that prohibits information from being disclosed prior to board meetings, or that is how the Chair interprets the rule.

Full Disclosure: It is alleged that Feldman sent me the information and that I accidentally forwarded the email to the Board’s Secretary General, Nathalie Lauziere. I can neither confirm nor deny this accusation.

The disclosed information supposedly showed the proposed salaries of all board members, ultimately approved by the board. In an email, Lauziere was asked whether she had received the heretofore mentioned errant email and if so, what she then did with it.

I have received several emails on December 10th, 2014 coming from you, one with the subject line EMSB$.  It was addressed directly to Mrs. Anne Lagace Dowson and myself, cc  Julien. No private mention was on it and no confidentiality clause was included. This email was sent after to Mr. Stocker, Director general and Mrs. Mancini, Chairman,” wrote Lauziere in her email.

From there the complaint against Commissioner Feldman apparently got rolling full steam ahead.

The exact wording of the charge against Feldman was not disclosed publicly at the January 28, 2015 meeting. It was referred to as “the resolution on page 63.” However, the motion to hire a prosecutor can be seen on the board’s website video archive at http://emsb.canadacast.ca/archive_2015-01-28.mp4.html and occurs between 42:12 and 50:45.

All of these machinations transpired prior to the public question period. There, a citizen asked Chair Angela Mancini whether the board had consumed wine during their dinner break immediately before the resolution to reprimand Feldman. The citizen also asked who had paid for the wine. That story can be read at: https://jjlocke.wordpress.com/2015/01/28/emsb-wine-entitlement/ .

I asked the question because I thought it pertinent. A little wine can drive people to distraction.

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Emploi Quebec employs discrimination against Tête carrées

January 30, 2015

by Jack Locke

Just because we are square headed does not mean we accept being shat upon.

Screenshot from Quebec government's employment website showing business services for French speakers.

Screenshot from Quebec government’s employment website showing business services for French speakers.

Screenshot from Quebec government employment website showing opportunities for English speakers.

Screenshot from Quebec government’s employment website showing opportunities for English speakers.

How Quebec discriminates against L’English

January 29, 2015

by Jack Locke

At every turn in my efforts to find gainful opportunities to work, to live, and to enjoy the beauty of Montreal and the fortune of living in Quebec, I find stumbling blocks. The latest comes from the National Library and Archives of Quebec(BAnQ).

As a poet/journalist/editor, I am always looking for an opening, a paid gig, a place to read or promote my work. It is not so easy to find such. I would have thought the great library of Quebec would not discriminate against us English Quebecois, but alas, I am wrong.

On the French part of their website, under “Cultural Activities” is listed a Calendar of cultural activities and “Proposition d’un projet d’activité culturelle” — a place where writers can propose an event that will be sponsored by the library, and performers/readers may receive compensation(see screenshot below.)

And on the English part of their website, under “Cultural Activities” is listed only a Calendar of cultural activities. No mention that English writers may propose an activity that will be funded and sponsored(see screenshot below.) This is but one example of how the government of Quebec, various public institutions, treat English people in Quebec–with financial discrimination.

Despite assurances of equality, English people are considered second-class citizens by the government. It is shameful and pathetic. Yet, commonplace. If you are concerned, TAKE ACTION:

People can email the Director General of the Bibliotheque at: pdg@banq.qc.ca

Premier Couillard at:  Philippe.Couillard@plq.org

Pierre Karl Peladeau at: Pierre-Karl.Peladeau.STJE@assnat.qc.ca

Canada’s Commissioner of Official Languages via Twitter: @OCOLCanada

And be sure to send a cc to me at: jjlocke1957@gmail.com or @Lockeblog on Twitter

BAnQ Fr Screenshot from 2015-01-29 15:45:41

French section of BAnQ website showing opportunity to propose an event.

English section of BAnQ website that hides opportunities for proposing an event.

English section of BAnQ website that hides opportunities for proposing an event.

EMSB Wine Entitlement

January 28, 2015

by Jack Locke

Poor role models, indeed.

At an English Montreal School Board meeting this evening, Chair Angela Mancini disclosed that not only did commissioners drink wine between an in-camera session and the regular meeting, but that the wine was paid for by tax dollars. It is an affront to parents and students, but the notion did not seem to phase the Chair.

[Video of the Chair’s admission can be seen on the EMSB video at http://emsb.canadacast.ca/archive_2015-01-28.mp4.html    1:14:51 – 1:15:28]

And obviously, no one on the Board has raised the matter publicly.

I attended a December 17, 2014, special meeting of the EMSB, and as I waited for them to return from their in-camera session I saw four bottles of wine being carefully ushered toward the board’s meeting room.

Tonight, I received my answers, also videotaped and live-streamed by the EMSB. All I can say is I was deeply offended. It is one thing to drink prior to a meeting, it is another thing to drink at a break between the meeting. And then it is wholly inappropriate to accept wine at the taxpayers expense on a regular basis.

Is the EMSB Board fit to govern? Good question. Vote in the Lockeblog poll HERE.

* An earlier version referred to commissioners as councillors.

Why Denis Lebel Should Resign

January 24, 2015

By Jack Locke

Denis Lebel.

Denis Lebel.

In a letter, dated April 25, 2012, then Minister of Transport Denis Lebel wrote, “The safety and security of Canadians are top priorities for our Government, and the safety of the railway system is of the utmost importance to Transport Canada.” This was less than 15 months before the rail tragedy at Lac Megantic killed 47 people on July 6, 2013.

Lebel lied. Railway safety was NOT of the utmost importance, as time has shown. A new report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives confirms that rail safety was NOT of the utmost importance. Denis Lebel should own up to his responsibility and resign. #DenisOwnUp

Denis Lebel Own Up (2)

January 22, 2015

#DenisOwnUp

Denis Lebel was Canadian Minister of Transport when the Lac Megantic tragedy occurred, July 6, 2013. Rather than accept responsibility, he was shifted to a different portfolio. He should have owned up for his responsibility, he should own up for his responsibility, still today he should resign. Here is what he said in 2011 before a Senate committee.

Mr. Denis Lebel: The accountability of railway companies is important, as is the fact that all railway companies, when they will ride on federal tracks, will have to be accredited, “federally” speaking. In the past, when there was a problem with part of a track which belonged to the federal government, whether it was a track used for public transit or for another purpose, we had to go after CN and CP.

But under this bill, we will be able to deal directly with those companies. We do not want to impose fines on them, but when there are reasons to be more rigorous in rail operations, this will certainly yield better results, and there will be less of an impact on the environment and, as a consequence, fewer accidents.

Source: Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
Transport and Communications, November 16, 2011

http://www.parl.gc.ca/content/sen/committee/411/TRCM/04EVA-49179-E.HTM

Denis Lebel Own Up

January 22, 2015

Denis Lebel was Canadian Minister of Transport when the Lac Megantic tragedy occurred. Rather than accept responsibility, he was shifted to a different portfolio. He should have owned up for his responsibility, he should own up for his responsibility, he should resign. #DenisOwnUp Please share. Some of my previous communications with Lebel can be seen here https://jjlocke.wordpress.com/2014/08/21/deadly-denial-by-harper-government-recanadian-rail-safety/

The Cremation of Common Sense

January 22, 2015

[This poem was inspired by a current court case(Yukon Francophone School Board, Education Area #23 v. Attorney General of the Yukon Territory) before the Supreme Court of Canada.]

In the frost of February French students learn

How Canada’s legal system operates

When obstinate litigants have money to burn.

Rather than sitting down talking in turn

In the Yukon no party ever negotiates

In the frost of February French students learn.

We all know appeal courts like to churn

Good citizens into inebriates

When obstinate litigants have money to burn.

A teacher may not earn what a judge can earn

The inequity, justice only exacerbates

In the frost of February French students learn.

The Supreme Court of Canada is stiff and stern

No one wins when Ottawa mink adjudicates

When obstinate litigants have money to burn.

For adequate education all parents yearn

Let’s all argue as Sam McGee incinerates

In the frost of February French students learn

When obstinate litigants have money to burn.

A Grooked Poem

January 20, 2015

Piet Hein was an inventor, designer, and poet. In 1940, with Nazis approaching, he started writing a series of short, witty and insightful poems called Grooks. I have taken a stab at this art and suggest you try your hand at it. Go for it.

Here is a sampling of my Grooked poems:

It’s difficult to sleep

When birds aloudly peep

I’d invest in thicker windows

If I weren’t so cheap, cheap.

******************************

Energy East is a pipeline vast

Thrust forward at full throttle

When oil leaks we’re all aghast

Can’t blame critics for breathing chipotle.

****************************

In Canada we suffer like elves

A long and protracted Winter

It’s why I stock my shelves

With bottles from the vintner.

****************************

Foolish are men

When we are rash

If driving then

We tend to crash.

First He Was A Hero For Lacing Up Skates

January 15, 2015

First he was a hero for lacing up skates

Then his son was charged for an offense

But you know, a great stick-handler infuriates

And he, Guy,

was charged for ragging the puck at the prosecutor’s expense.

Now he charges rightfully he was wrongfully accused

Power in Quebec… not excused.

January 14, 2015