Saturday Cometh

April 20, 2018

When Saturday comes I rejoice

The day when workers

Can reclaim their natural voice.

Advertisements

These Are The Days

April 19, 2018

These are the days of cold and confusion

Of climate change

And profuse political illusion.

Hype

April 18, 2018

There’s lots of hype over innovation

But economists can’t bear

To place value on hybernation.

Sunday Poem: Battle Royal, April 15, 2018

April 15, 2018

There is currently a court challenge contesting the moving of Quebec provincial riding boundaries. The word gerrymander comes to mind. As does the phrase Battle Royal.

Battle Royal.png

Sunday Poem: “April 6, 2018”

April 8, 2018

April 6 2018

Sunday Poem: Pinch Back, Apr 1 2018

April 1, 2018

To follow up on last week’s poem Fresh Grapes, I am reminded that convicted murderer Valery Fabrikant was declared a vexatious litigant by the Canadian courts(i.e. A judge who has ample access to fresh grapes.) Happy Poetry Month.

PINCH BACK

It is admirable to be vexatious

When government grows ungracious

When they scoop our rights

The powder ignites

Forcing us to pinch back pugnacious.

 

 

FRESH GRAPES

March 25, 2018

(On February 20, 2018, Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal refused to grant convicted murderer and former university professor Valery Fabrikant the right to have a hearing to determine whether prisoners at the federal Archambault Institution can buy fresh grapes.)

FRESH GRAPES

Across a harsh, rocky landscape we traipse
We hope that justice one day will improve
All poor prisoner wants is to buy fresh grapes.

We oft display intelligence of apes
It is not a theory that I must prove
Across a harsh, rocky landscape we traipse.

In Archambault prison the mind seeks escapes
For us to guard insanity, it behoves
All poor prisoner wants is to buy fresh grapes.

His passage through hardship left hefty scrapes
We cannot predict how a hurt mind moves
Across a harsh, rocky landscape we traipse.

The noble court eats cream on their crêpes
But small application before them they disapprove
All poor prisoner wants is to buy fresh grapes.

Our world—when judges lose kindness—shapes
I must never let myself fall into that groove
Across a harsh, rocky landscape we traipse
All poor prisoner wants is to buy fresh grapes.

 

 

Open Letter to Westmount Mayor, or, Why A Poet is Pickled

January 12, 2018
Photo Christina Smith

Westmount Mayor Christina Smith.

It’s a sad day in Westmount, Quebec when outdoor construction workers are hammering away at 12:50 A.M., almost immediately opposite my bedroom window.

After the workers had been hammering and sawing all day long on a house fronting Dorchester Street, what would prompt the City of Westmount to issue an emergency work order?

Has no one ever heard of securing a building with tarp?

I wish to know why, when I called Westmount’s Public Security Service at 12:50 A.M., I was told that nothing could be done to provide peaceful respite from these noisy construction workers. I nearly swore at the officer on the other end, though I am not prone to do so.

I might add that I was accepting when they were loudly hammering at 10 P.M., owing to the warm +6 degree weather.

But how could emergency hammering be continuous over a 17-hour time span? Yes, they started aaround 7 A.M. the morning prior.

What I would like to know is who issued the emergency work order and why? There is no doubt the construction was needed, but surely this was NOT an emergency situation.

And what can City Councillors do to protect its citizens in the future?

A Mumpsimus Befalls Quebec’s Liberals

November 25, 2017

by Jack Locke

The Quebec Liberals decision to deny a motion to allow English-speaking citizens to be served in their language of choice is uncharacteristically not decent, especially as its opposition falls upon the sacred myth that Quebec is a French province.

The story was reported by CBC’s Angelica Montgomery on Nov 25 in an online story “Quebec Liberals back motion to do more for province’s Anglos – But motion faced backlash after amendment proposed forcing civil servants to serve public in both languages.”

Of course, Quebec has legislated that French is the official language, but there are many, many Quebeckers who speak other languages, and who supposedly are granted equal rights under various bills and charters of rights. But let us ignore for a moment the Cree, the Mohawk/Iroquois/Haudonoshanee, Greeks, Italians, Jews, Germans, English, Irish, Scots, and others who have worked to build Quebec. Though we do a great disservice to deny their valuable contribution, let’s close our eyes for the sake of argument.

All people in Quebec want to be treated decently and with respect. Government is the body that is supposed to serve all its tax-payers fairly and equally – it is a no-brainer. Astonishingly, providing the public with service in the language spoken by the public in Quebec is a radical concept, seemingly.

Most recently, when Quebec Liberals opposed an amendment to a motion by Ryan Brownstein who brought forward a proposition “calling for civil servants to offer services to citizens in the language of their choice” there was queer, and vehement, objections.

It is not in the progressive liberal tradition that I know to be exclusionary, yet this is precisely what the Quebec capital “L” Liberals have chosen. They have chosen to deny equal rights to good honest citizens seeking basic services from their government.

It is a preposterous position for any governing party to say, “We are going to make life Hell for all who do not speak French.”

Yet, time and time again this is the tenet that guides Quebec’s language laws.

It has nothing to do with protecting French, or ensuring that French-speaking citizens are treated with respect. Instead it is petty revenge for perceived historic mistreatment. Incroyable!

It is incredible that a centrist party is catering to those who seek revenge. It is incredible that right-minded Quebecers would not see this. It is incredible that indecent fallacies would rule the day.

But this is a French province, said the federal Prime Minister at a Sherbrooke town-hall meeting. Even the Prime Minister of Canada fell briefly for the fallacy.

It is a nasty mumpsimus whose time has come to be corrected.

-30-

 

Time to remove my $$ from the Bank of Montreal

October 30, 2017

“The bank is not your friend,” said an old and trusted real estate agent.

Looks like he was right.

After complaining to the Bank of Montreal recently, for treating its English-speaking customers in Montreal as second-class clients, I received a reply today from the Bank’s Ombudsman’s office, after waiting six weeks.

If you choose to take your money out of the Bank of Montreal in solidarity, in the name of equality, let me know. Thank you.

Here it what the Bank of Montreal said:

Good morning Mr. Locke,

Thank you for your correspondence to our office regarding the size of the welcome signage in BMO branches which you believe evidences that English-speaking customers are not as respected as French-speaking customers. 

Office of the Ombudsman is the final escalation step in BMO Financial Group’s internal Complaint Resolution Process. Our office has a broad mandate to investigate a wide range of financial services complaints from customers of BMO’s Canadian operating groups, however, there are certain issues that fall outside of the mandate of our office which we cannot review, including matters that do not relate a product or service.  We appreciate your desire to escalate this matter to our office.  However, it appears from our review of your correspondence that your concerns relate to signage in BMO’s branches and we have determined that your concerns fall outside of the mandate of our office to review.  More information about our mandate and BMO Financial Group’s complaint resolution process can be found in the enclosed “We’re here to help” brochure

Although our office is not able to review your concerns, your feedback is important to us and in an effort to assist you, we shared your concerns with BMO’s senior management.  BMO confirmed that language law in Quebec mandates that signage appear larger and more prominent in French.  We understand that the larger French signage has made you, an English speaker, feel that you are not as respected as a French-speaking customer.  A core value of BMO is to treat all customers equally and with respect.   BMO regrets if the signage made you feel less respected, as that was not the intention. 

As outlined in the attached  “We’re here to help” brochure, you may also contact the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (“OBSI”) and request a review of your concerns. You should note, however, that your complaint may also fall outside of OBSI’s mandate.  Further information on OBSI is available on OBSI’s website at www.obsi.ca, or by contacting OBSI directly at:

Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments

401 Bay Street, Suite 1505

P.O. Box 5

Toronto, Ontario M5H 2Y4

Phone: 1-888-451-4519

Fax: 1-888-422-2865

Email: ombudsman@obsi.ca

Thank you again for contacting our office. 

Emmanuel Excellent Gresser 
Coordinator / Coordinateur
Office of the Ombudsman / Bureau de l’ombudsman

This email and its attachments are confidential. Any unauthorized use or disclosure is prohibited. If you receive this email in error, please notify me by reply email and permanently delete the original without making any copies or disclosing its contents. BMO Financial Group is a brand name representing Bank of Montreal and its subsidiaries and affiliates.