Posts Tagged ‘Quebec’

Trudeau’s Apology Falls 10 Feet Short

February 27, 2017

– a Lockeblog exclusive –


Ayer’s Cliff mayor Alec van Zuiden poses an English question to the prime minister at a Liberal Party Jan 17 townhall meeting in Sherbrooke, Quebec. Justin Trudeau answered in French, and to date has offered no personal apology.

By Jack Locke

Although Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized to one person he insulted at his January 17 Sherbrooke townhall meeting, he has neglected to apologize to the other 5 people he treated rudely.

In an exclusive interview with one of the forgotten five – Ayer’s Cliff mayor Alec Van Zuiden, who posed his question in English and was responded to in French – he makes it clear no apology was tendered.

“An apology? No. That said, I was not expecting one frankly,” say van Zuiden in an email, “No, he did not call nor send me a letter.”

The mayor had asked about his region’s dire need for support for small business, where a majority of businesses are made up of four persons or less.

A month following his crude public display, much publicity was made when the Prime Minister apologized to Judy Ross and to the Quebec Community Groups Network. But respect for the other 5 persons directly dissed by Prime Minister Trudeau was once again denied.

Although much of he country was offended by Trudeau’s insensitivity, the mayor remains philosophical.

        “…an affront to common civic decency…”
                                         – Mayor Alec van Zuiden

“Long story short – and as mayor, let alone just a human being – I well understand we can all make mistakes,” he says, “while there is no question his announced position at the Sherbrooke town hall was an affront to common civic decency – he has acknowledged the error; in the name of everything holy – let’s move on.”

In his email, the mayor speaks glowingly of his Liberal member of parliament, Marie-Claude Bibeau and her staff.

“They were, and continue to be, most helpful in various matters of concern not only to me as mayor but to the community as a whole. I have rarely seen such implication from an elected official at a grass roots level and the subsequent involvement of staff.”

Ever humble, van Zuiden notes how he might have proceeded.

“If I had prefaced my introduction the way I had planned, ‘Good evening Justin, my name is Alec the mayor of a bilingual status community so recognized by the province of Québec, as such I would welcome you to respond to my query in English if you would,’” writes van Zuiden.

“Alas, that whole line simply skipped my mind when I got up…”

A call to the Prime Minister’s office has not yet been returned.






Cartoon: Steeling Ore

April 13, 2015

AET31Pay the Rent2

Cartoon: Long Arms Registry

March 27, 2015


When a City Council Pretermits Poetry

March 25, 2015

As National Poetry Month(April) approaches, I am reminded of the words of the late Westmount, Quebec resident, former McGill Dean of Law, and poet, Frank Scott who wrote:

      Come and see the vast natural wealth of this mine
      In the short space of ten years
      It has produced six American millionaires
      And two thousand pauperized Canadian families.

Sadly, it takes fewer than six Canadian politicians to pauperize two thousand Canadian poets. The equitable recognition for poetry has, I am afraid, fallen victim of government gone gonzo.

Taking note of numerous Canadian cities who have officially recognized National Poetry Month, I approached my local municipal government of Westmount to see whether they would follow suit by having their next council meeting opened with the reading of a poem. Westmount is culture. It is a city that prides itself on being the first place in Canada to have built two stacked—one upon the other—NHL-sized, underground hockey rinks. With such a clear commitment to culture, I thought, how could they refuse?

I must mention that Westmount has sponsored a Pastry and Poetry event at their library for the past four years. While they decided to impose a fee this year for the first time in order to recoup their costs, the cost of having a poet read a poem prior to a council meeting would be negligible.

Photo Nicole Forbes

Westmount Councillor Nicole Forbes.

When I received an email reply from City Councillor Nicole Forbes, speaking on behalf of the council, I was knocked off my computer chair.

“…unfortunately we cannot start our Council meeting with the reading of a poem.”


Why precisely? No reason was given.

Regulations? A by-law?

Or was it merely that council loves poetry too much and would not be able thereafter to concentrate on business?

Obviously, this was their reason.

Cartoon: Let us Eat Cake

March 22, 2015


Alix, Trix, and the Hijab

March 3, 2015


Foff Quebec

July 23, 2014

Quebec's fleurdelisé

Imagine that your government, the one you pay taxes to, responds to your letter of concern– in a language other than the language you wrote in.  Now imagine Google providing a translation that the Quebec government was unable to provide.  Thanks Goog! Foff Quebec. Passing the buck really sucketh. Here’s the letter I received:
Gov reply July 2014          And here is Google’s translation:


Quebec’s Charter of Clothing

September 19, 2013

Quebec’s Charter of Clothing has a source–
A hangry group, Mon Dieu! that eats horse
When they ban bolo ties
Of conspicuous size
For this cowboy, nothing could be worse.

Coroner’s report D.O.A.

March 21, 2013

by Jack Locke

Aerial photo shows railway area west of Turcot Tunnel where 3 boys were killed. The location was misidentified by Quebec's coroner.

Aerial photo shows railway area west of Turcot Tunnel where 3 boys were killed. The location was misidentified by Quebec’s coroner.

It is not often I criticize a coroner’s report, but then again it is not often I read one.

If you want to read the coroner’s report for the death of Dylan Ford, who was killed on Oct 31, 2010 by a VIA Rail train. It can be read HERE.

Questions remain:
Why did the coroner conclude the deadly train was travelling within the speed limit, at 63 MPH? As I reported, this was contradicted by a CN Incident Report that noted the train was travelling at 70 MPH. The locomotive event recorder can confirm the speed.

Did the coroner review the drug and alcohol analysis of the VIA engineer? No mention of this in the coroner’s review. The coroner reported on the drug and alcohol levels found in Dylan Ford. And Coroner Krystyna Pecko, MD, had the audacity to suggest this may have had some bearing on the deaths of the three Montrealers.

Did the coroner interview the remaining eye witnesses? Non!

Headings of the coroner’s report include: Le train, Les statistiques, Les graffiti, L’Accident, L’analyse de l’accident, Commentaire, Le Recommandations, and Conclusion. No heading titled, Driving with undue care.

I have one recommendation: Talk to the people involved and ask questions. This coroner’s report is shameful, in my opinion.

Tax Time highlights Québec’s obscene hypocrisy

February 15, 2013

by Jack Locke

It’s 1992. A young 17-year old girl is swept off her feet by a globe-trotting Canadian man. Over time they have three children, she tries to start a career, only to be caught up in motherhood and a dissolving relationship. The love crashes and the young woman seeks support from her wealthy ex-partner. He objects to paying her alimony and it goes to court.

In court she is known as “A,” he is “B.” The Government of Québec sides with Mister “B.”

Québec argues before the Supreme Court of Canada that its Civil Code differentiates between officially-sanctioned spouses and common-law spouses when a question of alimony is at issue.

However, when it comes to income tax, the Government of Québec makes it very clear that official spouses and common-law spouses are to be considered the same. Equal.

For asserting two different positions, the Government of Québec should be ashamed. Before the Supreme Court of Canada (in this case known as Québec v. A) the Government of Québec argued that the woman was not entitled to spousal support because she was not in an official relationship and not protected by the Civil Code.

Article 585 of the Civil Code provision says: “Married or civil union spouses, and relatives in the direct line in the first degree, owe each other support.”

And Québec had the audacity to argue that a spouse in a long-term conjugal relationship has no rights to financial support.

In the rest of Canada, married spouses and common-law spouses are considered equal under the law. This is an interpretation that protects the poorer spouse in a relationship. It is inconceivable that the Government of Québec would argue that the Civil Code differentiates between officially sanctioned and conjugal relationships. Especially when it comes down to preventing catastrophic impoverishment.

Yet, Québec tax law says precisely the opposite. The definition of a spouse under section 2.2.1 of Québec’s Taxation Act, states that officially married, civil union, and common-law/conjugal relationships are equal. They are all considered the same under the taxation law, provided the common-law partners have been together for 1 year.

In the Québec tax guide, the government says:

“A de facto spouse is a person of the opposite sex or of the same sex who, at any time during the year:
– was living in a conjugal relationship with you and was the biological or adoptive parent (legally or in fact) of a child of whom you were also the parent; or
– had been living in a conjugal relationship with you for at least 12 consecutive months (if you were separated for less than 90 days, the 12-month period is considered not to have been interrupted).”

In the Québec v. A case, the woman had been in the relationship for seven years and had bore three children with her partner.

It is hypocritical for the Government of Québec to commit a legal fraud to argue one way, and then argue the opposite way. Québec can have it one way or the other, but they cannot have it both ways. The Québec government argued against the young woman known as “A” to protect the financial interests of her ex-partner.

The Supreme Court then sided with the province.

“The Civil Code of Québec does not lay down the terms of the union of de facto spouses. Since the de facto union is not subject to the mandatory legislative framework that applies to marriage and the civil union, de facto spouses are free to shape their relationships as they wish, having proper regard for public order. They can enter into agreements to organize their patrimonial relationships while they live together and to provide for the consequences of a possible breakdown.”

The Supreme Court has granted women the legal right to starve upon dissolution of a child-bearing relationship.

For that reason, the province of Québec must come clean, must be consistent in their interpretation of what constitutes a spouse. They must not deceive the Supreme Court of Canada, and they ought to apologize to the woman who was denied spousal maintenance because of their illegitimate deceit.

Of course, the Supreme Court also ought not to have been so easily deceived.

That’s it, that’s all!