Consume, digest, rinse and spit


Cartoon by Garnotte, Le Devoir

Jeff Heinrich is a tenacious and patient fellow. Not only did the Gazette reporter sit through 37 hearings on ‘reasonable accommodations’ (otherwise known as ‘Whatever do we do with all these immigrants?’), but he published a well-received book about the whole mess shortly afterward, with a colleague from Le Journal de Montréal.

Mr. Heinrich’s tenacity paid off this past weekend, when he got his paws on several chapters of the forthcoming final report from the commission’s two Grand Poohbahs, Gérard “brother of Lucien” Bouchard and Charles “the philosopher, not the murderous dictator” Taylor. Set to be released this week, the report was to suggest how the province can best weather the “reasonable accommodations” crisis that apparently has the province in a death grip.

The Bouchard-Taylor report is one of those “eagerly awaited” tomes that pop up every so often here in Quebec. Had Heinrich not leaked it, the Bouchard-Taylor report would have become, like the Castonguay Report and Johnson Inquiry before it, the subject of one or even three existential crises, several dozen editorials, something about sovereignty, a few kicks at “les anglos du West Island” before devolving into the usual partisan bickering. Consume, digest, rinse and spit. Hey, at least we’re predictable.

Jeff’s early jump, which can and should be read here, here, and here, has dialed up the fury extra early. “Learn more English, be nicer to Muslims, get better informed,” was how he pithily summed up the chapters he received. The advice has fallen on deaf ears in certain circles. “If this is all the commission has to offer, it is quite worrisome,” Pauline Marois told the Globe.

It isn’t, of course, but that didn’t stop Marois or anyone else from dismissing the commission outright. The report isn’t even out yet, and already nuance has been chucked out the window. “What surprises me is why 80 percent have to bend at the knees and learn English, and not the other way around?” read a typical comment on Lagacé’s blog.

Sigh. Plus ça change. Consume, digest, rinse and spit.


Consume, digest, rinse and spit

  1. ‘not the other way around’ because we are a’cultural mosaic’ (as they term it in 8e geography) and as such, we ‘respect and honour other cultures’.

  2. The real problem is not with “accomodations” it reside within the core of who we are as Citizens of Canada. “La commission des accomodements resonnables” was held within the Quebec province but could have been held all over Canada and the results would have been similar if not the same in the end. We has individuals need to find out who we are as Canadiens and that’s were i think the real problem is. It is not a question of tolerance but more a question of where do we live and what are our laws? If a Canadien can absolutly not bring knives in our schools or anywhere else for that matter why should we allow it for certain individuals because of there religion? Religion here should not make it possible for anyone to bend our rules and laws no matter what. It is not up to us as canadiens to adapt and accomodate different cultures but more the other way around. If you decide to go and live in another country you will have to adapt to there laws and ways of doing things. Why are we even having this debate on how we should accomodate the immigrants when it is just normal to accomodate to the country you are moving into as an immigrant? I think we are loosing ourselves in all of this it should be plain and simple. This is the Law you have to accomodate to it. That’s it that’s all!!!

  3. While rejecting the report full-out based on the leak in the Gazette. But you have to admit, what the Gazette, and how (they really made it seem like they got their hands on the central part of the report), the reaction isn’t so surprising. Andre Pratte asks today in La Presse if maybe the Gazette’s leak does more harm than good by putting out only partial-truths before the report is realeased this week.

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