How a snowstorm exposed Quebec's real problem: social malaise -

How a snowstorm exposed Quebec’s real problem: social malaise

The issues that led to the shutdown of a Montreal highway that left drivers stranded go beyond mere political dysfunction

A woman shovels snow from around her car following a winter storm in Montreal, Wednesday, March 15, 2017. (Graham Hughes/CP)

A woman shovels snow from around her car following a winter storm in Montreal, Wednesday, March 15, 2017. (Graham Hughes/CP)

Controversy that erupted in Quebec immediately after this piece was published caused the author to write a Facebook post, which can be found here.

We also wish to correct two errors of fact. Due to an editing error, a reference in an earlier version of this piece noted that “every restaurant” offered two bills. We have clarified this to say “some restaurants will offer you two bills.” We have also removed a reference in an earlier version noting that “bank machines routinely dispense fifties by default.” Read our editorial on this article here.

Major public crises tend to have one of two effects on a society. In the best cases, they serve to reveal the strength of the latent bonds of trust and social solidarity that lie dormant as we hurry about the city in our private bubbles—a reminder of the strength of our institutions and our selves, in the face of infrastructure. Such was the case in New York after 9/11, and across much of the northeast during the great blackout of 2003.

But sometimes the opposite occurs. The slightest bit of stress works its way into the underlying cracks of the body politic, a crisis turns those cracks to fractures, and the very idea of civil society starts to look like a cheapo paint job from a chiseling body shop. Exhibit A: The mass breakdown in the social order that saw 300 cars stranded overnight in the middle of a major Montreal highway during a snowstorm last week.

The fiasco is being portrayed as a political scandal, marked by administrative laziness, weak leadership, and a failure of communication. And while the episode certainly contains plenty of that, what is far more worrisome is the way it reveals the essential malaise eating away at the foundations of Quebec society.

Compared to the rest of the country, Quebec is an almost pathologically alienated and low-trust society, deficient in many of the most basic forms of social capital that other Canadians take for granted. This is at odds with the standard narrative; a big part of Quebec’s self-image—and one of the frequently-cited excuses for why the province ought to separate—is that it is a more communitarian place than the rest of Canada, more committed to the common good and the pursuit of collectivist goals.

But you don’t have to live in a place like Montreal very long to experience the tension between that self-image and the facts on the ground. The absence of solidarity manifests itself in so many different ways that it becomes part of the background hiss of the city.

To start with one glaring example, the police here don’t wear proper uniforms. Since 2014, municipal police across the province have worn pink, yellow, and red clownish camo pants as a protest against provincial pension reforms. They have also plastered their cruisers with stickers demanding “libre nego”—”free negotiations”—and in many cases the stickers actually cover up the police service logo. The EMS workers have now joined in; nothing says you’re in good hands like being driven to the hospital in an ambulance covered in stickers that read “On Strike.” While this might speak to the limited virtues of collective bargaining, the broader impact on social cohesion and trust in institutions remains corrosive.

We’re talking here about a place where some restaurants offer you two bills: one for if you’re paying cash, and another if you’re paying by a more traceable mechanism. And it’s not just restaurants and the various housing contractors or garage owners who insist on cash—it’s also the family doctor, or the ultrasound clinic.

Maybe all this isn’t a huge deal. Sure, Quebec does have the largest underground economy as a proportion of GDP in Canada, but it’s only slightly bigger than that of British Columbia. But if you look at the results from Statistics Canada’s 2013 General Social Survey, which looks at the broad measures of social capital of the sort made famous by Robert Putnam’s Bowling Alone, his book about the collapse of the American community, the numbers for Quebec are disheartening.

For example, the residents of this province also report the smallest family and friend networks in the country. The proportion of people who report having zero close friends is highest in Quebec, and quadruple that of people living in top-rated Prince Edward Island. And while 28 per cent of Quebecers over the age of 75 report having no close friends, the average for the rest of the country is a mere 11 per cent. It goes on: When it comes to civic engagement, rated by levels of volunteering and membership in groups and organizations, Quebec ranks dead last. The volunteering number is particularly shocking: the national volunteer rate is 44 per cent, while Quebec’s is 32 per cent. The only other province below the national average is New Brunswick at 41 per cent.

Then there’s the classic measure of trust, where people are asked, straightforwardly: “generally speaking, would you say that most people can be trusted or that you cannot be too careful in dealing with people?” Only 36 per cent of Quebecers say that most people can be trusted; the national average is 54 per cent, and no other province clocked in at less than 50 per cent.

Some of this will be defended on the grounds that it is part of what makes up the province’s unique character. Sure, some restaurants will offer you two bills. Don’t be so uptight! It’s part of the place’s charm, along with the love of prog rock and the mandatory jaywalking. But the numbers show that it is close to inconceivable that this could happen anywhere else in the country. For most of these figures, Quebec isn’t just at the lower end of a relatively narrow spectrum: rather, most of the country is bunched up, with Quebec as a significant outlier. At some point, charm and uniqueness betrays itself as serious dysfunction—and the famous joie de vivre starts to look like nihilism.

And then a serious winter storm hits, and there is social breakdown at every stage. In the end, a few truckers refuse to let the towers move them off the highway, and there’s no one in charge to force them to move. The road is blocked, hundreds of cars are abandoned, and some people spend the entire night in their cars, out of gas with no one coming to help. Forget bowling alone. In this instance, Quebecers were freezing, alone.

Andrew Potter is the Director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada.


How a snowstorm exposed Quebec’s real problem: social malaise

  1. Oh is it “Pick On Quebec’ time again?

    • Great article stating the truth about low Quebec standards that lead to danger.
      I wish Le Journal de Montreal and other franco media stop “picking” on my English Montreal community.
      I wish bus drivers and metro changeurs would stop assaulting me just because I ask them a question in English…in Westmount!
      Abolish bill 101, volunteer more, give to charity more…and our province will be of higher standard.
      Nowhere in Canada will you find police officers dressed like clowns on duty…only in Quebec.

      • Stop being stupid.

        • Can you back up your argument about me “being stupid”?

          If you don’t, then I win. I am right and you are wrong.

          You have no credibility, your comment is worthless.

          When you resort to personal insult, childish name calling, proves you have no logical valid counter-argument.

          • Here’s one; 1/3 of North America was once francophone. Today, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia have tens of thousands of unilingual anglophones with “francophone surnames”. The law 101 protects the french from losing their language, i.e. their culture. No? Have you not taken notice of the 350 million anglophones surrounding Quebec?

            Another thing, it’s non negotiable and let me explain. We are a “constitutional monarchy”, not a “constitutional republic”. I know you won’t believe this but the British still own us 100% and they intend on retaining Canada as a colony. This being said, from a strategic point of view, Quebec is in an advantageous position in remaining loyal to the British Throne. Ironically, Quebec (leadership) is more loyal than ever because now, allied with the die hard loyalists from Ontario, they can keep Canada united.

            Meanwhile the British have ensured we have a steady flow of immigrants. Diversity is not only good for stimulating the economy, it invigorates international trade. Ex pats become ambassadors. The downside? When abused, it creates lower wages and fratricidal strife, it keeps people divided. This explains the dishonourable use of identity politics which is the #1 machiavellian tactic the British employed to subjugate their colonies in India and Africa.

            The idea is to keep people apart and squabbling over petty affairs. You think Quebec is hated? Ontario’s got it bad. Everyone hates Ontario.

            The natives are just now beginning to rediscover their cultures and languages. This is absolutely necessary. Let them speak their own native tongue.

            Oh and the reason Quebec is doing bad has nothing to do with the so-called “language barrier” and everything to do with commerce. Unlike Canadians who bend over backwards, Quebecers refuse to allow some corporate entity exploit it’s own people. They also have world famous rental laws, something Canadians used to have before the develloppers took over.

            To an educated man, Canada is in all actuality, more corrupt than Quebec. Look at Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. High rents, high hydro bills. People are being exploited. I’ll stop here.

      • You are the most disgusting human being on earth!

        • Can you back up your argument about me being “the most disgusting human being on earth?” But in your opinion the Metro employee beating up a customer simply for asking a question in English is perfectly normal and acceptable?

          If you don’t, then I win. I am right and you are wrong.

          You have no credibility, your comment is worthless.

          When you resort to personal insult, childish name calling, proves you have no logical valid counter-argument.

    • Spot on, It always hurt to hear the truth.
      But, you have to give the names of the two bills restaurants because I need to get there to save some taxes, the government has enough already, maybe it needs to learn how to manage it better. With all the comissions, well you know some close friends to the elected government have to get some money back, were just talking about millions$. Quebec is excellent at the Bills, it’s all again about making sure the lawman’s have more works. Most of the elected are usually lawyers. I find that Quebec has too many law books, it gets too confusing for a simple mind, that include the one writing this. The last time I heard someone giving me the option of two bills was 18 years ago. As for the gaffe of highway 13, let blame mother nature first, but secondly the Ministere Transports, de la Mobilite durable et de l’electrification des transports. Maybe, just maybe the new nomenclature is giving a way too big assessment for the size of the manpower. The fact that some of the key people are in negotiation, to mention the Ingenieurs and les professionnels that are being underpaid and considered as not comparable to the one in the private, public or even la societe d’état d’Hydro-Quebec. The fact that underpaid factor doesn’t encourage any graduated Professionnals or engineers to join the band wagon is not helping. It is a fu..up society. I can say so because I’m 10th generations that started in 1685 of French simple servants laborers. Let’s dig deeper, I was born in a small village, during that time it was 50% French and 50% Anglo. My generation, I can count on one hand the one that got a university degree, and it doesn’t make us better, we still have that small isolated mind even though we were exposed to some extended reading into basic philosophy. But there was a strong catholic basic foundation of the French Canadian that collapse in the 70’s. The French have no communal model to teach or to offer to the new generations. So how do you teach one to help and share with the one in need. Don’t get me wrong here, the Christian writing are not such a bad thing, they imply some ruling but like all rules they are limited by the human being that teach them, and you know, a human is a human and it can be a bit twisted sometimes…I apologize for my poor English writing. Quebec is dysfunctional but so are all the other countries in the world, and all the other provinces. It was a huge snow storm and I stayed home.

      • I think you should move to Saskatchewan, you would be happy there! Please consider !

        • I think you should move to France, you would be happy there ! Please consider !

  2. Ha ha ha! “every restaurant will offer you two bills”!!?? Really, *every*?? Like Toqué and Joe Beef even? I was hoping to read to the end and see that the author is a below-average educated person who makes such outlandish comments, but no, they are the “Director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada”!! I weep for McGill!
    PS. I am yet to go to restaurant here in Montréal that offered two sets of bills for cash or credit. And I go to all sorts of hole-in-the-wall restaurants as well as the big names. And even I wouldn’t make an outlandish counter comment as “there is no restaurant in Montréal that offers a two bill system”… Hey but what do I know? I am just a data scientist who’s trained in statistics and I don’t hold a director position at a once-great university…

    • So you fixate on the two bills (which does in fact happen) … and completely overlook the rest of the stats… what kind of a data scientist does that make you? Methinks one who does not work for any kind of reputable university.

      • I have been eating in restaurants for almost 50 years traveling in all Eastern Canada, living in Québec and Ontario and have never seen a two bills restaurant… Besides, for the past 10 to 15 years, every restaurant or food counter has a mandatory device in Québec tjhat registers every transaction…
        So either, you have never been to Québec or are a liar.

        • Neither have I ever ever seen two bills at a restaurant, of any kind. I have to wonder which restaurants the author frequents.

          • Wow. You make it sound as though Quebec is not collectivist. It is the ONLY province that offers CEGEP, a higher level education, free to all. I am from Quebec, and I have only one close friend. Does this mean I don’t care about my fellow citizens? Nonsense. How embarrassing for McLeans and McGill.

          • Sorry Nevine. My comment was not intended for you, but the article as a whole.

        • The tax cops are all French. If you speak English, or heavily accented French, they know there’s no way you can be a cop, and so a lot of places will ask if you’re paying cash and then give you a round-number price; or they’ll ask if you want “cash back”, with the cash back being the under the table price. I’ve seen that in heaps of shops here. Not so much restaurants – though I can think of 1 well-known sandwich place where the food is priced in round numbers and the bills sometimes go into a plastic container, sometimes go in the cash register.

          • RJJAGO, this is such a simplistic assumption! I am a francophone and went to all kinds of restaurants, and was never offered two sets of bills. Neither was my mother. I have never heard of this until reading this article. Actually, reading this, I was wondering who they were talking about. I didn’t recognize myself in this article or any of the fellow Quebecer who I know personally. This article may show some stats, but their interpretation is faulty at best and is far from representing the majority of we are.

  3. Québec bashing at his best. The number one problem : 15 years or so with a federalist liberal governement…

    • It’s always so inconvenient when the “basher” is a Quebecer isn’t it? It means one then has to take the “pur laine” road…heaven forbid you might just get the past the generalization about the two bills in the restaurant and actually consider how ma-functioning a society is that truck drivers caused the death of motorist during that storm … just because they didn’t want to move their trucks.

      • Funny cause one of the guy who didn’t want to move his truck got arrested and sent to Kingston ON where he was under a warrant for fraud committed there.

        Honestly I can understand the guys not wanting to pay $2000 (the cost to tow a truck) because their trucks were working well, it’s the govt. that didn’t clear the route. And hell, with the taxes we’re paying… if we can’t get the roads cleaned… it’s bad!

    • He is stating facts:
      Quebec is most dysfunctional province in Canada…here’s proof…Police not wearing proper uniform, lowest volunteer rate in Canada, lowest rate of charity donations, highest male suicide rate, highest level high school dropout rate, largest underground economy, alienation, welfare state, bill 101 censorship…these are all factors that contributed to bad attitude which led to the crisis on Hwy 13…people dying.
      Hey, maybe we can make an effort to change that attitude? Abolish bill 101, volunteer more, share your money etc…that will lead to healthier society.

      • This is not evidence of anything. It is shitty interpretation of data that completely forgets to take into account social, political and historical context. But I wouldn’t expect an idiot like you to be able to do that.

        Lowest volunteer rate and charity donations? Gee, I don’t know why that would be. Here’s a crazy idea. Maybe, just MAYBE it has something to do with how we as a society have decided to get SERVICES instead of relying on charity?! Woah. Imagine that. We have decided to give more money in taxes to the government so we get more services. More services means less reliance on charity. WOAH LOGIC. Careful not to let your head explode.

        Also, an idiot would forget that the anglophone and francophone culture are different. Anglophones have had non-religious charity entities since forever whereas until recently, charity was the catholic church’s job in francophone culture. WOAH! Unbelievable right?! It’s almost like historical context matters!

        You know what? I’m happy that this place frustrates you. You deserve it because it is entirely self-induced by your own idiocy.

        It’s especially funny when you say things like “Bill 101 censorship” which is entirely not a thing… well unless you’re a very stupid person who never actually read the bill and who preferred to buy into the drama instead.

        Again, all self-induced.

  4. Québec bashing is the main story again? How long has it been Maclean’s? What an absolute and utter joke. What do police union negotiations have to do with the social climate? I’ve NEVER EVER received two separate bills in a Montréal restaurant, and I’ve been to a fair few in my 34 years living in this city. McGill should be ashamed to call this man an employee. What utter garbage logic? Nitpicking at non-related observations to make such a bold and meaningless claim : Québec is dysfunctionnal. But whatever fits the Maclean’s narratives, I’m sure most non-quebecers felt recomforted by this “opinion” piece.

    • Newsflash: Telling the truth is “NOT” Quebec bashing, so stop it with the typical ‘pur laines’, screeching denials and outright attacks when the ‘real truth about the total mess, Quebec is today, especially when compared to the rest of the country. I do though have to agree that I never had any restaurant offer a choice of paying in cash etc… As another stated the rest of the article is spot on and ‘dysfunctional’ has to be the understatement of the decade. So your getting your knickers in a close to hysterical knot over the restaurant claim is a beyond over reaction, no? After all – compared to the real ethnic cleansing demented language loi’s forced upon the population; notwithstanding the criminal erasure of pretty much all Charter & Constitutional rights forced upon over 2 million non francos living in the Greater Montreal area – who are forced to endure grotesque discrimination and outright daily abuses etc… makes me look forward to your response when the ‘truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth’, is finally published for the world to see. :)

      • It’s not discrimination to be treated as equal. English speaking people like you just hate being treated normally and not as the superior race you think you are.
        Weirdly, I see French people (you know, from France) act the same way. As we should deal with them like a superior being.

        Your attitude proves it: French Canadian still are considerate inferior.

        • @Etienne??????? Your response makes no sense whatsoever. Then again that too is “typical pure laines behavior”. It’s the usual, “If you can’t impress them with your brilliance then baffle them with your BS” reply. YAWN

          • You don’t know the feeling to have the obligation to speak English in a meeting with only one person speaking English and 12 other who speak french.
            So your ” compared to the real ethnic cleansing demented language loi’s forced upon the population; notwithstanding the criminal erasure of pretty much all Charter & Constitutional rights forced upon over 2 million non francos living in the Greater Montreal area” is the real BS.
            Ethnic cleansing?
            Yeah, I call BS, and, guess what, you are racist.

      • You utter so much insanities in such a short text… Of course, you talk about Québec, so it’s allowed, even welcomed! Don’t you know that most countries in the world have language laws aimed at protecting the language of the majority and it’s NOT criminal to do so. While Québec has its problems like any society, it’s in no way dysfunctional. You use the term “genocide”, shame on you for perverting a word that describe ANYTHING BUT the kind of treatment the English speaking minority have been enjoying in Québec for more than two centuries. Just compare with the treatment given to French speaking people in Ontario (Rule 17), Manitoba (Francophone Métis), New-Brunswick (Acadians) and most Anglophone provinces of Canada. I could go on for hours…but you’d probably never get the point anyway.

        • Did all you people read the article? Why is this turning into (again) a language war? When was language part of his thesis? I do not agree with this article but when we enter a discussion with our own agendas, we fail ourselves and we fail our community. Sheesh. Everything is NOT about the goshdarn eternal go nowhere becoming meaningless in posthuman times language debate. This was about so much more and reading people’s responses … I am beginning to re-think my original position and wonder if he is not indeed onto something. Depressing.

          • Please read the comments carefully and you’ll see who’s brought the “goshdarn eternal go nowhere becoming meaningless in posthuman times language debate”. Indeed, depressing, I’ll agree.

        • This brilliant author wrote an article on what most of us smart people already know:
          Quebec is the most dysfunctional province in Canada, and he provides proof.
          Yes, the truth hurts.
          Such low standards leads to danger, such as hwy 13 crisis.
          Bill 101 is very wrong, discriminatory, but 80% of Quebecers like it, giving them the label of ‘racists’ ‘nazis’ because bill 101 is similar to a law passed in Germany in 1933 which triggered the exodus of Jews from Germany.
          In advanced intelligent provinces, such racist laws don’t exist.

          • Repeating the shame shit over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over doesn’t make it any more true.

            Just keep going, all you’ll be face with are francophone who think you prove them right to engage into the kind of behavior you find alienating.

            This could have been a great occasion to show some support agasint Québec bashing and gain some trust from francophone Québécois but nope, you’re too dumb for that.

      • With all due respect to Andrew Potter I must say this. You will find in every society what you said about Quebec. If you think that the grass is greener in Europe or anywhere else I need some proof. I’have being living on Ontario for the last 42 years and believe me the corruption here is 10 fold what it is in Quebec. The worst part, they don’t have the courage to investigate or even talk about it. Ontario the pure can do no wrong. Well sir I don’t have enough room here to detail or enumerate the litany of corruptions in this province. So next time you pick on one society or a race make sure that you look farther than your nose and don’t let your arrogance cloud your mind. Thank you for the apology, its a start in the right direction.

    • Brilliant academic that Mr Potter!
      Stating the truth is not Quebec bashing.
      Quebec is falling behind other provinces, which leads to danger, like Hwy 13.
      Bill 101 is bashing my community to death…1976-1984 1.25 million Anglos flee from racist oppression in Quebec to freedom.
      Police not wearing their proper uniform for 3 years is a sign of dysfunctional society. Nowhere in English Canada will that happen because they have integrity, unlike here.
      Director of McGill Institute for the Study of Canada…must be a smart man!

      • Stop being stupid. You should have run away from Québec long time ago. Are you masochist ?

      • 3 universités anglophones à Montréal seulement. Hôpitaux anglophones aussi. Plusieurs villes qui sont en majorités anglophones. Peut-on en dire autant dans les autres provinces canadiennes? Les minorités francophones hors Québec n’ont malheureusement pas cette chance. Les Métis aux Manitoba victimes de racisme systémique. La lutte contre la fermeture de l’hôpital Montfort à Ottawa, le traitement des Premières Nations etc.

        Comme si le Canada était exempte de toutes formes de racismes.

        Qui plus est, le niveau de “bilinguisme” au Canada atteint les proportions les plus élevés au Québec. Être bilingue est une nécessité pour les Acadiens, les Franco-Ontariens, les Franco-Manitobains etc. Nécessité inexistante pour les anglophones.

        Loin de moi l’idée de diviser sur une question linguistique, mais historiquement parlant, les francophones au Canada ont toujours été désavantagés. Relisez donc votre histoire de façon un peu plus objectives et vous verrez que les données empiriques contredisent votre soit disante domintation. Être intègre commence par une interprétation objective non seulement de l’histoire mais également des rapports sociaux, ce qui semble impossible devant une telle malhonnêteté intellectuelle de votre part…

      • 1830-1920 : 900 000 french Canadian move to the USA to have the freedom they don’t have from the English oppressor.

        And you lied :
        “1976-1984 1.25 million Anglos flee from racist oppression in Quebec to freedom.”, is false.
        225 600 Anglos move from Quebec between 1971 and 1981 (statistique canada numbers).

        The racist oppression is from Anglos, as always. Just like you are. Just a reminder, England Invade Canada.

  5. Funny text. I had to sign up for a MacLeans account just to say that: maybe it’s time to stop looking only at stats and charts and datas and studies, and to get out and talk to people outside of the McGill campus, you know.

    • Plenty of dysfunction in Canadian society to go around, like the 2003 SARS panic in Toronto. A full-scale meltdown over what was just pneumonia, not some highly infectious killer virus. 14 years later there is no confirmation of a unique viral cause because none exists. But that didn’t stop the panic-stricken paralysis of the medical bureaucracy, not unlike blizzard highway pileups. Nobody was in charge. Those who attempted to wrest some control made matters worse. Quebec road maintenance and Toronto health network must have the same how-to.

      If malaise is an accurate term, certainly the most influential source of discomfort in Quebec is the a-hole separatist movement. Carving up and pitting family members against the other. Source of tremendous undue stress. Quebec had the highest non-indigenous suicide rate throughout the peak separatist period of blowhard negativity and false promises. A former mob-tied premier and the mob element itself doesn’t help matters.

  6. Is this guy for real? Anyone who associates a snowstorm to seperatism shouldn’t be fit to write an article – let alone be the Director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada. Either the writer of this article is a joke, or the McGill Institute is a joke – or both. And hey, Mr. Potter, I’m sure you have many close friends, but Facebook friends don’t count. If you’re right in your assessment of the situation, why don’t you just leave? Who is more stupid, the stupid or the one who lives among the stupid?

    • The fact that he IS the Director of the McGill Institute of the Study of Canada says he is very smart.
      Apparently so smart that many of you commentators here just don’t get it, totally clueless…which also proves his case again that Quebec has very low standards. Those low standards like police not wearing uniform, racist laws like bill 101, not having friends, not volunteering, not giving to charity, highest high school dropout rate, highest male suicide rate, welfare state…etc..all lead to a highly dysfunctional province, more than any other province. And when a crisis hits like hwy 13….those low standards may kill people. Why should Mr. Potter leave? He can criticize Quebec if he wants to. Is that also against the law here?

      • Well you hit the nail on the head. Yes it is – that ugly unwritten but everyone knows ‘law’… that if OMG anyone especially an Anglo or Allo dares criticise Quebec it’s pretty certain your job is going to be on the line and big time on the line!! Something Couillard the of all things Premier made crystal clear to Potter yesterday when he denounced Mr. Potter for daring to tell the truth. And that’s how bad it really is in ‘la used to be Belle Province’!! And of course when one takes a look at the hyena like pack attack posts against Mr. Potter with far too many making it clear he ‘should be fired’… that folks is what the past 4 decades have been like for the 2 million non franco population of Greater Montreal and Quebec. Take a look for example at the Municipal public employee status of Greater Montreal… I remind you with its 2 million+ non Quebecois population. Now try to find an English employee name or an English name manager or even assistant manager or spokesperson etc… Do the same for pretty much every major employer — including the Provincial and Federal ones.. Ergo most non francophones especially in academia the supposed English Universities (and it doesn’t matter a whit how bilingual one is.. it’s all about not being a francophone.. period) who are lucky enough to be employed know full well they better keep their mouths shut and better not ever criticise either le gouvernement or the maitre chez nous bosses. Let’s keep tabs on Mr. Potter’s career and see how long it takes for him to be “punished”, okay?

        • What you idiots don’t seem to get it’s that it’s not criticism. It’s bullying. You F-faces have been bullies since the day you set foot here. The English always had a superiority complex about them. In their eyes, their culture was the best sht ever, everyone else’s culture was inferior and they saw it as their moral duty to convert everyone to their “superior” culture.

          Ever since the English have been here, they have judged the French as inferior, as people that needed to be “civilized”, assimilated into their oh so superior culture, constantly putting them down, dismissing them, mocking them, deriding them, being patronizing, paternalistic. It was outright racism no longer than 50 years ago. FIFTY YEARS AGO, anglophones, in all their anglo-supremacist glory, were still telling francophones to “SPEAK WHITE” and refusing to hire francophones for anything other than low paid menial work and even sometimes refusing to serve them in their shops. Yeah I bet you didn’t know that, you hypocrite. Or maybe you did but you tried really hard to convince yourself that it wasn’t true because then you would have to admit you were wrong all along. So here’s how things were no longer than 50 years ago : The anglophones were in a better position than the francophones and they treated the francophones like sht. Then the quiet revolution happened and we took you a peg down or 2, as it ought to be. We took control of our institutions, put an end to your discriminatory BS thanks to Bill 101 forcing the use of French on the workplace and in public signage so the other 80% of the population could have a chance at a good job, understanding wtf they’re looking at and feeling at home in their home. Who knows, maybe if you hadn’t acted like complete shtheads and treated us with respect, consideration and as your equals, things would be better today. But you didn’t. So here we are today. You are now bitter because you have lost control. You still try to put us down, mock us, deride us, you’re still patronizing and paternalistic. This anglo-supremacist feeling is still alive and well today. It constantly rears its ugly head through POS “””critical””” articles like this one, the ones Potter wrote and other articles that are usually written by people who often never even set foot here, don’t speak French and YET, still think they know how our problems and how to run our stuff better than we do. It rears its ugly head in comments on various articles on the Internet whenever Québec is the subject of it. It rears its ugly head when French communities elsewhere in Canada try to have services, funding or recognition and are met with opposition from anglos who like them better when they’re just being English like everyone else and not asking for anything special. It rears its ugly head when people accept British-Columbia’s refusal of the pipeline but when it comes to us to refuse, it suddenly becomes unacceptable and you try to shame us into accepting it by accusing us of threatening Canadian unity (Elizabeth May called out Albertan politicans on this BS by the way).

          Shaming… that’s a new tactic you developed in the last decades. Since we are now in control in this province, you now have to resort to trying to shame us into doing or not doing whatever pleases you and BOY do you do it often. You just did it when trying to reject the responsibility of your own hateful and supremacist actions and attitude on us and posing as poor, poor little victims of the evil Québécois. How many times have I read people comment that Québec was the laughing stock of THE WORLD, no less, for whatever is the current subject of discussion? Too many times to count despite how ridiculous it is.

          So yeah, sorry NOT SORRY for not having anymore of your bullying you attempt to pass off as criticism. Maybe you should wise up to the fact that we’re not effing stupid and that we see straight through your xenophobia.

  7. A load of trash talk if I ever read any. You guys really hate us ….could you imagine the backlash if these same words would have been said on any other minority in Canada. ……Then they call us racists.

    • I wonder who is the racist this time.

  8. Vous avez en grande partie raison Dr. Un peuple qui n’est même pas capable de décider de son indépendance, de respecter sa langue et de se reproduire devrait continuer de se laisser assimiler en douce par la marée anglophone et anglophile qui monte ..

  9. Please give me the names of those restaurants where I can the two bill offer, because I am too alienated to find them myself.

    Many thanks!

  10. Andrew Potter you should be ashamed of yourself. This is the second horrendous encounter I have had with McGill University in the last week. I was appalled at the the behaviour of a group of Kinesiology students leaving Montreal last Thursday headed to Winnipeg for a conference. It was 7am and they were pouring bailey’s in their coffees, obnoxiously talking about ridiculous personal issues, using profanities constantly, making fun of a Quebecer’s french accent, and just generally acting like bunch of bullies. I feel so sad and disgusted that this may be the next generation coming out of English Montreal. I wouldn’t hesitate to blame people like you Andrew for this. You are a disgrace to the idea of respecting each other as humans. I hope you are forced to find a new job. Shame on you Mclean’s for publishing this.

    • LOL… you dare use the word “respect”, when it’s people like you who defend criminal ethnic cleansing loi’s – notwithstanding your typical longstanding “de souche” lie filled spews against Anglos – like yours above .. ex: I saw a group of students… making fun of francos; or that Eatons saleslady LIE – or that “decades long “My uncle was told to speak white” LIE – bandied about as the “reason” our English language, culture, rights, freedoms, etc… have all been erased as a what ‘ punishment’ for OMG not being a francophone? Spare us all the insane attempts to justify the unjustifiable. It’s ethnic cleansing period. Totally illegal – and bullying at its sickest given it’s been of all things made a law! An illegal law of course, but hey – that’s the norm in la yech Province these days.

      • Because of course the english community of Quebec is being “cleased“ and clearly are close to complete assimilation. You should go talk to the native americans, I’m sure they would be able to explain to you what it means to be ethnicly cleansed, and how the english community in all of North America helped. The French Canadians were clearly no better with them, but we surely didn’t do it to Quebec english community.

        • Deny, deny and attack and attack all you and your like. Guess what – now that Quebeckers especially English speaking Quebeckers are no longer held prisoners of media silence and being muzzled with the 4 decades long threats and brainwashing to “Shhhh don’t say anything, don’t upset the Separatists etc..” the disgusting and downright criminal “Ethnic Cleansing” facts are made public – not only here in Canada but around the world for all to see. So hold onto your pants little boy. It’s only just begun.

          • So, funny thing. You don’t seem to realize that you’re the one trying to push an agenda and that you really aren’t helping yourself with ridiculous BS like “ethnic cleansing”. Effing hilarious… and hypocritical too.

            Way to prove your opponents right.

      • This guy Didi is a fucking joke. Calls everyone who disagrees with him “souches”, and thinks the CLF is ethnic cleansing. Its clear why he welcomes the logical shortcuts found in this article.

        • What is CLF ?? Do you mean the OLF – the “Language Police”? The freaking language police monstrosity that goose steps all over Greater Montreal to make sure NO ENGLISH can be allowed or seen – the same ghouls who threaten ALL/ANY business owners with horrific fines if they dare disobey their LIE that ‘C’est le LOI”, (It’s the law) that No English is allowed? Then again with the Quebec politicians actually criminally ERASING OUR English language and criminally denying our Province being Officially bilingual and making French ONLY a LAW – in fact Erasing our language, our culture – our history – our services, our rights – our freedoms OFF the MAP – tell me – what do you call it – if not Ethnic Cleansing. Or is it that YOU don’t know the definition of Ethnic Cleansing because you poor thing were and continue to be DENIED World History lessons (another thing ERASED off the Quebec map) and most of you don’t even know who Hitler or the Nazi’s were or what they were about? In any event – keep your replies coming – you help make the truth even clearer :)

          • You did it !! You reached the godwin point !
            I new it was about to happen

          • “language police monstrosity that goose steps all over Greater Montreal to make sure NO ENGLISH can be allowed or seen”

            This is really amusing. It’s like you’re trying super really effing hard to discredit yourself. It is clear that you have never bothered to pick up the text of Bill 101 and read it. You are proof that Bill 101 is needed because French can sure as hell not be left in the hand of people the likes of you.

        • Yes the OLF is ethnic cleansing, exterminating the English community.

          Time to abolish bill 101.

          Great article, yes the truth hurts, we are an inferior province with very low standards when compared to other provinces.

          • To: VEROO301: Re: Your, “You did it!!! You reached the godwin point…..” is that a threat ??? Goodwin (that’s how it’s really spelled) law definition you conveniently omitted is: “Godwin’s law itself can be abused as a distraction, diversion or even as censorship, fallaciously miscasting an opponent’s argument as hyperbole when the comparisons made by the argument are actually appropriate.[9][10] Similar criticisms of the “law” (or “at least the distorted version which purports to prohibit all comparisons to German crimes”) have been made by American lawyer, journalist and author Glenn Greenwald.[11]” which is exactly what you just did. Again typical, typical of frightening, terrorizing and muzzling especially Anglos who dare tell the Real Truth” about ethnic cleansing Quebecois style. As I said yesterday – let’s watch to see how long it takes for Potter to be fired from his job – never thinking it would be so fast – because usually they make those who dare speak up suffer through a longer, “It looks like you’re gonna be fired for opening your mouth… workplace environment, slower form of torture.
            Goodwin’s law FYI VEROO301 is not a real law – in the legal take them to court for – for example: “Defamation of character …etc”.. (go read the definition) but has been used by the language law disciples for years to again intimidate and frighten truth tellers (and note ** always and only used against non francophones – I repeat only and always used against non francophones who have dared speak up and dared tell the truth) into silence. And as seen in Potter’s case… and believe me his being fired (or forced to resign) has been an extremely effective and brutal long, longstanding result and warning to any and all who dare criticise le gouvernement de Quebec. Now – tell me – tell us, how this does NOT compare to the Nazi regime – or any other dictatorial regime – of fanatic regime that always first and foremost – erases media freedom and erases and punishes those who criticise the government??? Shame on us all for continuing to allow this monstrous repression and outright criminal abuse of power to continue for one more moment. And to those who do or who dare defend the onslaught of abuse witnessed against Potter on this site – or kept silent – Shame on you too.

          • Ooops I spelled Godwin wrong – my mistake… and yes go ahead VEROO301 go ahead and go cookoo lambasting me for OMG making a mistake re: wrongfully correcting a spelling, just like you’ve all done to Potter for OMG making the mistake of saying “All restaurants…” instead of some or most…. and getting hysterically brutal against him for it… like he shot someone in cold blood and creating the insanity of “Burn him at the stake”…. backlash that got him fired and his career and life destroyed. I repeat TYPICAL of how Anglos and Allos are treated and have been treated for the past 40+ beyond miserable, horrific Anglo hate years every minute of every day. So much so that today it’s become “the norm in Quebec” – a human rights disgrace that would never be tolerated for one minute, to anyone and everyone outside the Province or country. Including of course not for one minute would any other province or democracy i n the free world allow the language the English language, culture JOBS etc… to be erased and/or deemed illegal and/or have “Language Police”…. goose stepping throughout the business community and population to make sure No English sees the light of day. Tell me – is that or is that NOT fanaticism, repression ethnic cleansing ? Shame on us all – Shame, shame, shame.

          • I think you’re just a pedophile.

            I see you object. Oh, is it because the truth hurts?


          • What actually hurts is the non-stop bullying from the English. And look at you, doing more of that bullying and reinforcing the defensive behaviors you find so alienating.

            What about your try stopping?

  11. The author of this malarkey is the Director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada ? Oh the humanity. What is wrong with you, McGill U.? BTW, the claim that Québec businesses routinely insists on cash is fictitious.

  12. Okay, Potter. Now, are you able to close the rest of the circle you start to draw in this article. Do you actually have the intellect to draw the connections between an overly aggressive nanny state and the slow erosion of society that comes with it, as described in this piece. Quebec epitomizes the kind of socialist society our elites love and promote. However, those elites fail to account for the social costs of socialism. Social order slowly breaks down in a society where everything belongs to everybody, and everyone is responsible for everything. When everyone is responsible, no one is responsible. The government of Quebec epitomizes that by relying on the taxation of citizens beyond its borders for so much of its public infrastructure. Hard taxation choices never have to be made because the Quebec government can always count on the federal government to assist in the downloading of a significant portion of tax responsibilities on to other provinces. That passing of the buck starts at the top and works its way down.
    What our elites seem willfully blind to is that this erosion from the top down is seen and experienced every day by those of us out in taxpayer land, and we want it to stop. People such as yourself keep telling us we’re wrong, yet guys like me who barely escaped high school have been painting pictures just like you describe for decades, and you people have never once listened. We told you decades ago that the unionization of public services pits the government against the citizenry, and you guys all said we were wrong. Gee, what did you just describe with Quebec police and EMT workers? If you think that’s not related to the problems bubbling to the surface in the Calgary police department, you’ve not been paying attention. If you don’t think the explosive revelations of the Charbonneau inquiry are directly related to big, intrusive, and confiscatory government where nothing is any one person’s responsibility, then you should be working somewhere that doesn’t involve the molding and shaping of young minds.

    • Very well put indeed! It sometimes go too far in term of institutionalization – when parents cannot volunteer to paint their school because the Unions and schoolboard won’t allow it, it’s utter incompetence at work.

      And while I am generally in favour of a lot of policies we have here (kindergardens for example), the lack of accountability is appalling, and a big part of the problem to have chronic incompetent at the helm.

  13. Two sets of bills? Andrew Potter must have been locked in a time capsule for the past ten years, because today’s Quebec Revenu Dept. has an airtight system in place for restaurants.
    As a septagenarian, I was prepared for the storm that hit Montreal. The steel shovel (not a plastic one) was in the back, the gas tank over half and a total avoidance of highways that you can’t get off… because I’ve been through it before.
    This province hasn’t seen a good snowstorm like this one for over thirty years, and the people in charge of things are all too young to realize that conditions would be this bad.
    During my 15 km drive from downtown to the West Island, I saw plenty of people pushing others out of sticky situations. I myself offered a lift to some people waiting for a bus that I knew wouldn’t be coming.
    I am astonished that Potter thinks that Quebecers are so hard hearted, for they are the first to help out when things go bad. He should get out more often.

    • Well put sir!

      I guess we should have called the army =)

  14. So let’s see if I understand. Ontario’s never-ending hydro-related boondoggles don’t call into question its underlying “culture” and “society”, BC’s rotten-to-the-core political process doesn’t call into question its underlying “culture” and “society”, but the author, member of one of the most coddled minorities in the world, nostalgic for the good old days when his parents lorded it over the “Frenchies”, figures a screw-up in a snowstorm is somehown related to the underpinnings of an entire culture? And the “two bills” lie is supposed to say what? I’ve lived in Quebec 25 years and no restauranteur has ever substituted my bill as a function of what method of payment I use. Cultural supremacists like this Potter dude make me ashamed of my fellow Quebec Anglophones.

    • “Cultural supremacists” ??? You are talking about the “Maitre Chez Nous”, pure laines screeching enforcers aren’t you? BTW do at the very least try to educate yourself on the REAL history of Quebeck – and the fact that the LIES and MYTHS you’ve all bandied about – “Anglos lording it over Frenchies a hundred years ago..”… NEVER FREAKING HAPPENED that you grotesquely use to “justify”… Ethnic Cleansing being the LOI in Quebec, makes it crystal clear how twisted the pure laines thought process is. Then again decades of brainwashing QC youth into believing the “C’est la fault de les maudit anglo et autres”, being the “right thing to do”, does make it easier to understand how fanatics like ISIS etc… develop, non?

      • Ethnic cleasing again? You should ask what ethnic and cultural cleansing is, to native americans. They know a lot more about it than you visibly do.

        • Hey you can screech denials and slurs all you like. It doesn’t change the truth and never will mon petit. It is good though that you at least used the word “visibly”. I suggest you put some glasses on and hey, who knows you may just start to “See the light”. :)

    • Potter is brilliant. The fact many here can’t understand proves the low standard of this province, not too bright.
      When compared to other provinces, Quebec is the MOST dysfunctional. He provides proof like lowest level of volunteer rate, lowest charity donations, police uniform like clowns, bill 101 exterminating the English community, censorship, highest male suicide rate, highest high school dropout rate, longest clinic wait times…general bad attitude….which leads to the most dysfunctional province in Canada…and fiascos like the Hwy 13…and people dying.
      Quebecers can change their awful negative attitudes…it requires effort…the gov’t won’t do it for you like everything else.

  15. Maybe M. Potter wrote this article while beeing stuck on highway 13. The ideas seem scattered over a layer of disdain of his environment. Was he losing oxygen?

    • He was breathing Carbon Monoxide while being stuck on highway 13. Inhaling fumes can lead to severe tissue damage and- or mental disorders.

      Michel Bouchard

      • No he wasn’t stuck in that mess on Hwy 13.

        The truth hurts, Quebec is inferior when compared to other provinces.

        We can change that. Change your miserable racist attitude, abolish bill 101, give to charity, volunteer, stay in school, get a job etc…stop being a welfare state.

    • He simply wrote what many smart people already knew: Quebec is the MOST dysfunctional province in Canada.

      He provides proof for his argument.
      All you provide is personal insult, no valid argument to back your claim.

      Which proves Mr. Potter is correct.

  16. Wtf is this shit lol unbelievable

  17. Maybe the two bill restaurant thing is for “anglo” only?

  18. I don’t really understand any of what is written in this article. This is not the Quebec I grew in, it’s not the Quebec I traveled in. I never had any problem getting help in any part of Quebec. I rarely see old people waiting standing in the metro. I’ve never seen a two bill system in any restaurant in Quebec, even in far regions of the province. Crime rates in Quebec have been in nearly constant decrease over the years. Our economy is pretty solid. Our Crime Severity Index is one of the lowest in Canada. Montreal was name the best city for international students. It’s also one of the best place in Canada to be a woman or a sexual minority. The social structure is stronger than what I’ve seen in Ontario.

    The problem of this article is not a lack numerous, well detailed facts (which it lacks), but a great sense of superiority by the author. Mister Potter if someone had said that about the first nations, I sm sure you would never have let them hear the end of it. This article as many biases, it speaks of someone who watch from outside with the eyes of cultural bias. The author lives in Quebec, works in Quebec, but he visibly stays within his community, and move much around the province of Quebec. He does not want to understand the other, he only judges from his high chair of learning, never going out among the common french folks of Montreal. This article is, at best, narrow minded and offensive. I wish you had more common sense, but I learned with time that narrow minded people usually don’t change their minds.

    • WOW… please share where this “Paradise of hugs and love etc..” in Quebec is! I’ve lived in Quebeck close to 70 years and rest assured I DO REMEMBER (je me souviens) a Quebeck like that – back BEFORE the FLQ – language loi’s… goose stomping language police terrorizing every business and of course the entire 2 million + Anglo/non Franco population when everyone was still considered an equal rights Quebecker. Yes that’s the way Quebeck USED to be – where we actually lived together and OMG even embraced each others differences and languages. Those days when Quebec was the richest province in the country and the BEST place to live on the continent. The days when there really was a “joie de vivre” etc…
      But hey those days of equality and freedom and UNITY were and continue to be erased especially in the Greater Montreal Area – because of course that’s where the 2 million+ non pure laines happen to live and where of course – they, “They must be punished”… for being non Franco – non pure laines and of course for the FICTIONAL sins of Anglos of the past – a hundred(s) (for in fact being Protestant instead of Catholic screeched from every church pulpit) years ago. Know that no matter how much you and your fellow trolling “deniers”, attack the author just like you have for decades whenever and wherever someone dares write the TRUTH about todays “pure race Quebec”… the days of muzzling and silencing Quebeckers are over. Gotta love social media, right?
      Again though – do tell us all where this “nirvana” of Quebec you live in is. Sure would like to visit it sometime :)

      • You do realise that the english community of Quebec is doing pretty fine in the province, right? For this nirvana, it’s quite simple, visibly everywhere people are not bitter and sad. History told us that the French community, during the time you talk about (where anglos and francos where such good friends) lead up to the creation of the FLQ. You realise that it was a time when the english minority in Quebec was rich, not the french speaking majority. It’s a time when sociale tensions between the two communities where so high, that even today, people like you refuse to acknowledge that it might not have been the paradise you think it was.

        Do you remember when english education was outlawed in Quebec? Well, it’s easy, the answer is never. French education was outlawed in most provinces and territories of Canada during the 1800s and the beginning of the 1900s. When was the last time a gouvernment tried to close an hospital for the english community in Quebec? I seriously don’t remember, but I remember the Hopîtal Montfort in Ontario.

        I never heard any politicians or public personality anywhere in Quebec say that the english community should “be punished” for what they did since they took control of La Nouvelle-France. I don’t think the english community should apologize for what is in the past. But maybe, just maybe, it would be nice to acknowledge that french canadiens were treated really badly by the rest of Canada, for a long, long time.

        I also want to make sure that you understand that you can, in you community, in Quebec, as an english speaker. You have access to education at any level, may it be primary school, middle school, high school, college and university. You have acces to hospital that works mostly in english. To diverse english speaking media and as I saw when I moved to Montreal, many job opportunities where you don’t have to speak any french at all.

        Your hate, is most of all, unwelcomed in Quebec, not your language. It is clear to me, you never really talks to the common french speakers of Quebec, because you wouldn’t be so insensitive and angry.

        • Spare me/us your downright silly and I repeat beyond ignorant and arrogant response. And rest assured a “history lesson” from you – barely out of diapers especially where the real history of Quebeck is concerned – is laughably I repeat cut & paste pathetic. I am much more of a Quebecker than you having lived here much, much longer than you and am not going to waste my time on your ridiculous attempt to I repeat “justify” the CRIMINAL and internationally condemned ethnic cleansing language loi’s… and grotesque discrimination and disgusting abuses you and yours force upon the English speaking population – and dare use some downright STUPID event – a blip in time – that occurred in the 1800’s in freaking Alberta or wherever?

          • LOL… you dare say “Our English language is not hated? Yeah right – made illegal – and ERASED but not hated, right? And don’t you tell me that I am not welcome in Quebec.. you silly child. Rest assured the entire country and every minority knows very well who you and yours have deemed are “welcome”. Just like all pure race fanatics let those “others” know. As for English media – WHAT ENGLISH MEDIA mon ami? There is NO English Media to speak of left in Quebeck or Montreal. ALL ERASED off the map. The only daily paper left – the Gazette – all managed by Francophones. The ONLY talk station LEFT CJAD – totally managed by Francophones – I repeat English real English Media – ALL ERASED. Hell, even the pretend English Community Network – ALL managed and overseen by Francophones. I suggest you start to do some homework mon ami… because rest assured the REAL truth – the REAL Ethnic Cleansing monstrous undeniable FACTS are finally going to be exposed (gotta love social media) and you don’t want to continue making yourself look even more foolish than you already have. Time to get a new script… YAWN

        • Bravo monsieur Tremblay-Morneau. Comme vous me faites plaisir! I want to say to mister Potter that even after what he wrote, l would not let him freeze in the snow.

          • We would help him, when in need. We leave nobody behind.

        • It is dangerous to ask bus driver or Metro changeur in Westmount the time in English because they beat you up! They are racist nazis.

          There is plenty of anti-English hate crime video on you tube.

          Time to abolish bill 101, its 2017.
          Where in Canada is there such a law? to exterminate an entire community?

          If you support bill 101 then you are a sick racist nazi.
          Quebec will always be “losers” until they eradicate that law and formally apologize to my community.

  19. I wonder why I should bother to answer to this “brilliant” piece of hate literature? Just replace the word “Québec” by “Gay”, “Black”, “Chinese” or any minority group you can think of and watch for the uproar… Unfortunately, in the case of this text, few will react and it will easily add to the collective subconscious negative opinion that a certain ROC is building and consolidating toward Québec. How nice it is for a society that prides itself with its tolerance, to have ONE group whom you can beat in any way you please. It’s a pity! Really!

    • Well gee whiz, speaking of “black” being black in Quebec. Here’s a typical NORM if one happens to be “black” in Quebec. Happened just a couple of days ago AGAIN – but this time made the news (a rarity). A young black male was standing on the street EATING AN ICE CREAM waiting for his girlfriend. The police car stops and asks him what he is doing. The young man explains he’s waiting for his girlfriend. Before he can blink – there are over 10 police cars that arrive and totally surround him. Note – the only thing he was doing was “Eating an ice cream while waiting for his girfriend”… and that as usual was enough for the Quebecois Police to stop and question him. That, as USUAL (especially if one is black or a minority – but especially if ‘black’) escalated into the police calling in reinforcements – I repeat – yes over 10 additional police cars arriving to ‘help their fellow racist officers’ ???? Throughout this – what was reported as a close to an hour interrogation by the police – the young man supplied his identification – did nothing but “obey” – did NOT question why he was stopped and surrounded (because everyone knows that OMG if you’re black or a minority you’d better not question anything the police do – no matter how bizarre or even outright illegal because they’ll beat the daylights out of you if you dare object to or even question them) . And guess what – 10 police cars later they gave the young man a $48.00 ticket for – if memory serves correct) “loitering”. Mind you this is just a ‘ mild sample’ of the “paradise” us maudit Anglos et autres experience multiple times a day in la yech Province. Then again the “deniers” on this page – being francophones are immune to this “normal anti franco treatment”, and that may explain their beyond ignorant outrage over these facts being told or it could be because they’ve been taught that – that is the way it’s supposed to be and no one should dare complain or object?

      • Didi… did you actually spend all day answering each and every comment on this article? Go outside and breath in some fresh air. I think you also need to go outside a little bit to take in what Québec and Montréal really are. Your logic seem frozen by a misplaced deep rooted hate and-or disgust of francophones. Don’t worry, we’re not lizard people. We wont eat you.

        • Wrong again… I hate racists and bigots and those who deny others their equal rights and freedoms including language etc… It really has nothing to do with francophones and you are downright silly to keep using that kind of ignorant and beyond uneducated ridiculous kind of attack to try to keep people like me afraid and silent. BTW there’s an innate deep rooted disgust in most human beings for ANY and ALL forms of racism – discrimination and/or pure race spewers, especially those who screech they need to protect their culture or language by erasing the other. Comprends? And yes I am actually spending all day answering comments or I should say lies and attacks against not only the author of the piece but also answering the ones who posted me directly. Looks like you have a problem with what I do with my time. How come? Do you have a boring life ?

          • PS: Or is it because you’re at your OLF (Language POLICE) desk and it’s your job to troll articles and posts that tell the real truth about la belle (sic) province?

        • Francis G…LOL..good joke…I noticed that too…Didi seem to spend all day answering every comment…lol

      • Didi, you obviously hate Quebec and Quebecers. Why don’t you move? There are many English speaking cities in Canada, for example, Vancouver where the weather is so much nicer than in Quebec. Better still, you could move to the US south where the weather is very nice and there are a lot of people who hate others. You would feel right at home there.

    • Mr. Potter is brilliant!

      Reality is he is not writing about gay, blacks, chinese.

      He is stating facts. Police don’t wear proper uniform, Quebecers lowest volunteer rate..etc..compared to other provinces.

      “How nice it is for a society that prides itself with its tolerance, to have ONE group whom you can beat in any way you please. It’s a pity! Really!”….yes bill 101 must go away!

      Like bus driver beat me up because I asked the time in English in Westmount…what a backward society this Quebec eh?

      Ask the time in French in Calgary, Toronto…I am sure the transit employee will be very nice.

  20. I was shocked when I read the article. Wow! I noticed exageration, speculation and bashing over La Belle Province about 2 bills in restaurants, that quebeceers have no friends or don’t volunteer. Concerning snowstorm incident on highway 13 with 300 cars stucked for 12 to 14 hours , I agree that It was a scandaleous chaos. Our elected members at provincial and municipal levels have to do there homeworks and mea culpa of this tragedy where luckely nobody died.

    • I repeat: Telling the “truth” is NOT Quebec bashing, mon ami. Bravo to the author and shame on you for the typical “attack the victim” QC pure laines maitre chez nous – response. YAWN

      • The truth is always culturally subjective, especially in this case.

        • no you are wrong.

          stats show the rate of volunteerism always lowest in Quebec since at least 1997 when I began to follow.
          How is that truth “subjective”?

  21. As somebody who lives in Quebec, you clearly don’t know the people you live with. I don’t know in which part of Montreal you live, but I can tell you that I am 43 years old and never in my life was I offered two different bills at the clinic or in a restaurant – and I can tell you that I go to restaurants often. And I rather not talk about our supposedly lack of solidarity….
    Shame on you for saying things that aren’t true. Because of people like you, French Canadians and English Canadians don’t get along. You help spread hatred all over the country. As a leader in education you should try to understand differences and explain them correctly instead of creating anger amongst people.
    French Canadians may not be perfect but they are good people. I will try to forget your article and remember the good and open minded people I met in the rest of Canada. I will continue to hope that we can live together despite our differences.
    I don’t know how you can work at Mc Gill and live in Quebec if you hate us that much. It must be really hard to live amongst people you dislike. I suggest you leave for another province. We don’t need you here.

    • Well said Karine. The author is creating hate and division in our wonderful country. Shame on Maclean for publishing this. This article is so unprofessional coming from the Director of Canadian Studies at McGill that I believe he should be asked to resign.

    • “Because of people like you, French Canadians and English Canadians don’t get along. You help spread hatred all over the country”…I get along with French Canadians…but they hate me because I am Anglo.
      They see an English sign, or hear English spoken…they go crazy….see on YouTube for video of French racist attacking Anglo-Montrealer.

      “I will continue to hope that we can live together despite our differences.”….but bill 101 wants to kill my community…you don’t want to live with me because you are racist.

      If you hate my English language so much, move to France, we don’t need you in Canada.

      • We don’t hate you because you are anglo. You are mad about the Bill 101 saying that we want to kill your community. You say you’re afraid of your community dying. Then you should understand why the government had to take measure to protect our language!
        We just want to survive in an ocean of anglophone all around us. Nothing wrong about that. As to the English community, I can assure you that it is not about to die.
        You generalize when you say everybody in Quebec hate you because you are an Anglophone. It is the same thing as saying that all muslims are terrorists.
        I don’t recall writing “I hate your english language”! In fact, I do the best I can to learn English. I am surrounded by English people that I love and I thank god they are not consume by hate like you!
        Both of our people built this great country. Canada is my country as much as it is yours whether you like it our not.

      • OMG…Move to France…I could say the same stupidity to you: Move to England…What’s the fuck is that????

    • Well said Karine!! I do not hate English people; I just hate smear article like this; I met two wonderful English women who came in my live, living in Alberta and I really love them. I’m open-mind person and I don’t like disrespectful towards people.

  22. I read this article to a point when I firmly believed that the actor was mentally ill. Then, I figured out that he has used an abusive language just to create traffic for the publicity on this website. So, I stop reading as I thought that the author was making a mockery of the intelligence of his readers.

    • Wow, you are totally brainwashed!

      You claim Mr. Potter is mentally ill (are you a doctor?)
      He is stating facts about volunteer rate, charity donations, bill 101 racist, welfare state, police lazy don’t wear proper uniform etc..
      That truth leads to Quebec being the most inferior province in Canada. Which results in crisis like Hwy 13..and death…because people here have the lowest standards.

      That fact that you just don’t get it validates his point.

      • Hi,

        Everyone with a little bit of kmowledge on statisctics knows that point statistics have lot of error. Statistic must always be analysed as a range. More, statistics are very time dependant as a sample in ex. this year might not reveal the same thing than the year before. The Hwt 13 incident was caused by some guy not wanting his truck to be towed. This guys was under warant for fraud crime in Ontario… not a nice guy, not a good representation.

        20 years ago I met a guy than had exact the same langage than the author but with an exact opossite political oriantation. This was mentaly ill like the author to my… just too oppisite loonies.

        Professionally, this text was very badly written. The facts were very badly incorporated in the principal subject. Some phrasing discredited the author and deterred the objective of the text from coming to a point which could have been great. I believe sincerely that the author had a point, but I do not think is mind is great enough to render it properly, which made him looked like a sick individual being mentally incontinent in front of its computer. The fact is that we are not discussing about the subject of the article. People are talking about its how the article was written. This is a fail text which is sad.

        This type of social analysis is not a subject that can discuss shortly like this and surely not with all individuals in the society. A lot of knowledge is require and I still do not understand why the author thought he could contribute to our society (Canada) in this manner. Looks like a rant to me.

      • “STOP LINGUISTIC CLEANSING”… this is funny as I came to meet in my life few French speaking individuals that were having the same crazy ideal about English speaking individuals that you have. We should but equal amounts of you guys in a room and let you fight it so that we can all (French and Anglophone) live in peace!! LOL

  23. What a sh**ty article! McGill has really hit a new low with this guy!

    • Personal insults proves you have zero credibility.
      Abolish bill 101….stop the extermination of my people.

  24. It would be nice to see these stats posted in the article, I would be curious to also see the questions. But most importantly, why is M Potter still residing here in QC, if he doesn’t like QC ??

    And if all Canadiens feel like M Potter does, why were you here in 1995 saying that you love us ??

  25. Just read your article and basically could not believe a word of it. I almost think you fabricated the entire piece out of some misguided animosity toward Quebec and Quebecers. Actually, it doesn’t seem that you have ever even visited Quebec or Montreal since what you write is nonsense. For example, the notion that restaurants give patrons the option of two bills is unbelievable. In my forty-five year working life in Montreal, when I ate in restaurants at least two or three times a week, the situation you describe simply never occurred. Whoever told you this was either lying or trying to make you look silly. The stats you quote about friends, volunteerism, etc., don’t hold water either. I’m curious to see your sources – if there are any.
    I invite you to come to Montreal and get to know the place; look me up and I’ll be happy to show you the real Quebec.

    • WOW – looks like you and your “Deny the truth”, QC pure laines, pals are out in droves today. Tell me – do you work for the OQLF – the language POLICE OFFICE? Still using the “cut & paste” denier and attack the victim script I see :) Newsflash: wait till the truth about the grotesque abuses non Franco patients are forced to endure in the for starters, “French Only” hospitals – surfaces. I wonder how you’re going to deny that :)

      • 60% of french canadians speak english, dude. They always find a way to communicate with english speakers. They even have, in some regions, aboriginals translator.

        By the way, you’re aslo good on the victim script.

      • Actually, I’m a French Canadian from British Columbia. I worked for the federal government in Montreal for 15 years and taught at a cegep here for another 15 years. Since you are making this personal, I would like to add that my wife is neither anglophone nor francophone; my children have embraced their multi-ethnicty a nd have very successful careers. I have, however, never much liked the zealots who work for the OQLF. Over the years, I have been mostly satisfied with the social services both my family and my friends (almost all of whom are non-froncophone) have received in Quebec. There are problems, and recently cases of discrimination have arisen, but with a good heart, we can overcome them.
        I didn’t realize at first that Dr. Potter, the author of this dubious piece, once studied and now teaches at McGill, which may explain his attitude; he has also studied at l’Université de Montréal, which makes his article even more difficult to understand.

      • Please stop your garbage. Your fellow English citizens will be ashamed of you

        • I’m English and very proud of this article, it is brilliant!

          He states the truth. If we don’t change our attitudes to increase our standards to that of English Canada more deaths will occur during emergencies.

          Actually I would love to read an entire thesis on this topic…then have it printed in the New Yorker magazine.

    • Well I can list decades of monstrous abuse – especially in French hospitals like Charles LeMoyne in – designated bilingual Greenfield Park – where not only there has never been one English or bilingual sign allowed – but where their reputation of Anglo hate and horrific abuses of non franco patients are historically well known across the City and Province and throughout the medical community. The saying is: “If you go to Charles LeMoyne with a cold and you’re English – you’ll leave in a coffin”. Notwithstanding I have years of documented and RECORDED proof of the beyond incredulous – inhumane mistreatments forced upon too many to count helpless and frail patients who’ve been victimized by the “Parles en francais maudit”… attacks forced upon non Franco patients by nurses and doctors and staff – that to this day give me nightmares from the ones I witnessed over the years. Of course this discriminatory cancer is entrenched in pretty much EVERY municipal, provincial and even federal Quebec outlet, department and for that matter most corporations. Social services in English.. well none to speak of – especially in the suburbs.. all erased. And I’m talking about right across the bridges. Not the hinterlands. Downtown – yes there are still a few left – but 98% have been erased and the 2 million+ non French English speaking population treated as though they/we don’t exist or have no right to exist – especially in English and you know it. That is beyond insane – it is sick. Where else on earth is a language illegal or removed as official? It is – like it or not – deemed “Criminal Ethnic Cleansing” (See UN definition) and has totally destroyed the Province and countless lives. And continues to sink it into the sewer of racism and destruction that always results in us against them ‘divide and conquer’ environments. BTW I and pretty much all my family members and friends are multi lingual and like your wife neither anglo or franco (except the franco relatives that married into the multicultural family we are). And I’m really surprised that you find it difficult to understand Dr. Potter’s piece – especially given the Universite de Montreal is famous for its “special skewing of not only Quebec history – but its of all things, doing all it can with its legal teaching department to try to ‘ legalize’ illegal ethnic cleansing language loi’s… into government “loi’s”… knowing full well that by REAL LAW – Constitutional Law – that that in itself is enough to have lawyers disbarred etc… But hey that’s a whole other kettle of fish. I do though appreciate you teaching your children the benefits of embracing their multi-ethnicity and of course how beneficial it has been in their career success. Know though that the problems of discrimination in Quebec are not “recent”.. The only recent thing is – their being FINALLY made public. The reason they have NOT been made public is because as mentioned pretty much ALL English Media has been Erased in Quebeck and mainstream English Media – long ago was forced to remain deaf, dumb and dead silent about the REAL nightmare of discrimination and abuse forced upon non franco Quebeckers – because they were all told their jobs were on the line if they dared mention Ethnic Cleansing was now the LAW of the ‘gouvernement de Quebec’. That was made clear when Conrad Black was blackballed by Chretien and our mainstream media was taken over by Quebecor – the Separatist media baron Peladeau and the rest of their pals who ruled the media roost from 1995 on. That was when the REAL Erase all English off the Quebec map began. Lots of tales to tell mon ami. I am though glad you and your family were lucky enough to have escaped the effects that sadly far too many have not.

      • You are entitled to your opinion, but I strongly disagree with them. And please, use spaces, it’s easier to read your text with them.

      • I have to agree with you that Charles LeMoyne Hospital has been a terrible place. One of my cousins worked there and had horror stories of her own – among the francophone patients! Definitely has not been a well-run institution.
        I can’t agree with your use of the expression “ethnic cleansing” here in Quebec. We all know the history behind Bill 101 and even the anglophone community has come to terms with it.
        On the other hand, the Quebec media have been reluctant to report on the abuses that have followed it, and they should definitely be chastized.
        Thanks for pointing out that the old anglo-franco dynamic will not be the only driving force in the future of Quebec – our multi-ethnic children and grandchildren will hopefully be more accomodating and compassionate, and the former elite are dying off.

        • Yes I do know the history behind Bill 101 and that is a primary reason for my posts. You do of course know that the French language and culture has never been in danger (quite the opposite happens to be the irrevocable fact – French (Canadian) being the the quickest growing language in linguistic history – a historic rate of growth never seen before for that matter, all before the language loi’s and Bill 101). And no believe it or not The Anglo/Allo community actually has NOT come to terms with it. That is a lie and myth popularized by the media including the rag tag – remnant of what is supposed to be English Media (that as mentioned pretty much no longer exists in Quebec) keeps trying to present but was and continues to be flagrantly untrue. Tell me – how on earth does one or can one – “Come to terms with flagrant discrimination and erasure of rights and freedoms the the rest of the country not only enjoys but takes for granted”? Come to terms with being a “less than citizen”? Ine expected to pay equal taxes for services erased and no longer available? Pay equal taxes for JOBS they no longer are hired for? Pay equal taxes for political representation they no longer get? Pay equal taxes to be terrorized by “Language Police and government bureaucrats, health workers, doctors, lawyers, police etc… who screech at them that “Speaking and being English is NOT acceptable”, ? That “C’est le loi – Parles en francais maudit”.. especially as I said to frail, senior patients who I’ve seen cower in the corner of their beds in outright terror while being forced to endure the onslaught of abuse being hurled at them in their hospital beds? And we haven’t even begun to address the decades of abuse our children were forced to endure in the French schools – for OMG being English or Gawd forbid an immigrant or black. As mentioned I was one of the lucky ones because I grew up in a Quebec that embraced its multicultural and English population. I grew up taking part in the St. John the Baptist parade, and being a full part of my francophone neighborhood and for that matter never even questioning it. It was a magnificent sense of belonging and in spite of my NOT being allowed into French schools I eagerly embraced the language and culture and learned it on my own from my French friends and neighbors and loved it. I like most others was FORCED out of the french community and culture. It was made crystal clear that because I was an “autres” I was no longer welcome – and I like the Anglo was totally shunned – what seemed like an overnight event – never to be allowed in again. That is what Bill 101 did. Nothing else and the result has been of course and rightfully so – the total destruction of everything that was good and beautiful about the Province. And the reason for it being in the deplorable (laughing stock of the world – where no one in their right mind invests) state of racism and bigotry gone wild it is today.
          Frankly it has broken my heart, beyond repair – but like you I still hope that one day our youth will be able to heal the damage that has been done. Thankfully they have the “tools and the smarts and curiosity”, to see the whole picture and what I see is the desire to live in peace and harmony with their fellow human beings. I send you and your family my heartfelt best wishes.

      • I’m surprised that an all knowing condescending being as yourself hasn’t yet learned that the “return” key creates a space between lines of text. An amalgamation of such lines of text is called a paragraph. The usual rule is : one idea per paragraph. Try it next time before you hit submit on your diatribe.

        • LOL… is that the best you’ve got? Don’t like my style – then ignore it, mon ami. Real easy, non?

        • Didi is a supreme total a$$hole. Perhaps Didi is a pseudonym used by the author of this article who is clearly deranged.

          • YAWN your slurs and attacks are sooo old and sooo ineffective – and sooo overdone and soooo typical of the kind of harrassment and abuse forced upon non Franco Quebeckers all these miserable language loi years that in fact your reply is a soooo perfect example of what the non de souche population has had forced upon them countless times a day to keep them silent and afraid. Bonne job :)

  26. I also created an account just to leave this comment:

    Mr.Potter, my therapist Jacinthe is really nice and her office is near McGill campus, so you wouldn’t be too disoriented. I think you two would get along and maybe you could work on losing this enormous chip on your shoulder. I have lived in Ontario and Europe periodically, but Quebec is my home. In 28 years, I have never been offered to chose between 2 bills. No industry is watched closer by the tax man than restaurants. The mandatory receipt for every drink at a bar has been disastrous for the environment, sure, but that’s not what you are talking about. nor have I been dispensed a 50 at the ATM. Maybe BMO? I’d have to check, I bank with Desjardins and TD. Agreed, the cops look and act like morons constantly and their entire recruitment system should be kyboshed, but go easy on EMT’s; they work hard and deserve fair pay. They don’t make much money at all, like most health workers. When my colleague had a seizure last month, they were so gracious and professional. I didn’t notice any stickers on their vehicule, nor did my colleague, because he was busy convulsing, you know what I mean?

    Litteraly no one is a seperatist anymore, you don’t have to bring that up. Even my 87 year old grandparents from Saguenay vote Liberal now. It was a big deal when my EXTENDED family and friends network converted in the 90’s-2000’s. I just read the last part again… All these flavours and you choose to be salty?! Mandatory jaywalking? What are you even talking about? My husband got a jaywalking ticket last fall and Project Montreal petitions all day long to secure dangerous intersections.

    The shit show on the 13 was due to a few things. Those truckers that ‘refused’ to be moved, we don’t know the bottom of this story yet, but I have a hunch that Montreal’s ridiculous Mayor and the Ministry of transport are looking for someone to blame. Just like snow removal in the city, snow removal on the 13 is privatized and the job went a company that was accused of some shady stuff in the past. The Mayor never activated the emergency procedures are in place. Why not? This is the important question. Why didn’t the people in charge mobilize the chain in place who could’ve handled it? The Mayor said he didn’t find out people were stuck till 4am but how come I knew before going to bed at 10? It was on the news, all over social media… He’s lying, he had to know! The death toll from that storm is up to about 9 ppl in the Province. Clearly, it’s an emergency.

    Anyways, luckily municipal elections are this fall and we can replace this idiot fat head Mayor by someone more sensible (VALERIE PLANTE!!!!), but until then, go see Jacinthe and quit being so god damn paranoid. Sprinkle a bit of this article on the 13 and they would’ve gotten right out of there am i right? ha. Anyways. Namaste.

    • Denis Coderre was a useless federal MP. During the years when Harper was destroying the country he was on twitter every evening tweeting about hockey. On the night of the storm he was probably watching and tweeting about hockey instead of keeping up on the news and doing his job.

  27. Andrew Potter is one piece of garbage… so is this crap on paper called Maclean’s… Soooooo last decade.

    • Wrong, wrong and wrong again. Not soooo last decade. Last decade social media had still not come into its own – to allow the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth to be told, to be released to the rest of Canada and the rest of the free world. Your slurs against Andrew Potter are perfect examples of what pretty much any and everyone had to endure if they dared try to speak up about the beyond deplorable ethnic cleansing, racism and bigotry ‘gone totally wild – Quebecois style’. French media and Qubecois politicians going what seems to be stark raving mad – with pretended outraged denials and always coupled with downright frightening even terrifying demands the author(s) be either fired or forced to apologize and never allowed to publish again etc… we all know is the price any Anglo or Allo is going to have to pay. As proven once again with the supposed Federalist Premier ‘Couillard’ just yesterday demanding Andrew Potter apologize. One has to ask – apologize for what, pray tell? That he said Quebec is ‘dysfunctional’? For telling the truth ? And that folks speaks volumes no? Scary isn’t it?

  28. I feel sorry for McGill hosting a centre lead by someone with so little critical understanding and sensitivity. His poor analysis and wayward comments suggest he’s essentially a suare peg in a round hole… McGill should put him out of his agony.

  29. Mr Potter’s assertion that restaurants in Montreal present two bills is simply false. Has not happened to me in 20 years of living here. The other stats Mr Potter attributes to Quebecker’s lack of sense of community only show that we have more in common with latin peoples (lower community involvement, lower participation in charity, etc) in those areas than the ROC, which we could arguably aspire to emulate. Advancing those facts as proof that our society is disintegrating is simply ludicrous and shows a disheartening lack of understanding of Quebec culture and heritage.

  30. We are all a bunch of stupid mentally ill people, thanks for your analysis…

    What if you begin to use your logic instead of your emotions (especially your hate)? I have an hypothesis about the close friends statistics. Maybe people in Quebec are more honest and realistic than in the ROC? True friends are rare, do you live in a fantasy? About the snow removal problems, what if I tell you the liberals privatized the public system to give contracts to their friends who gave political money? The private companies will care more about their pocket than giving a good public service… They call it neo-liberalism and the ROC are mostly in favor of it, isn’t it?

    People of Quebec, we need to unite and get rid of such hate about us. There is only one way to get the corrupted thefts that govern us that try to make us think we are mentally disabled out : independence.

  31. bon, encore un autre texte haineux venant d’un journaliste jauniste sans talent.
    je pourrais écrire le même genre de vomis sur les habitants de l’Ontario si je ne les aimaient pas.
    vous aimez bien gagner votre croute en provoquant la haine, le Canada ne serai jamais un grand pays avec des types comme vous, tout ce qui vous intéresse, c’est la haine.
    aucune différence entre vous et les séparatistes péquistes, vous carburez à la haine des autres.

  32. Quebec bashing pays off !
    All magazines and newspapers are having great difficulties right now, and Maclean’s is no different. This magazine knows well that once in a while, it is really good for their statistics to stimulate the ROC hatred towards Quebec with a good Quebec bashing article. It is like asking Trump to talk against Clinton: the response is immediate.
    What surprises me though is that McGill University hired this so-called journalist…Shame on McGill !

    • Wrong – it’s shame on you and the rest of your trolling OLF truth deniers, mon ami:) I repeat, speaking, writing telling the truth is NOT Quebec bashing. It is rightful illegal ethnic cleansing bashing and any and every Quebecker and for that matter human being has a moral obligation to denounce it. So bravo, bravo to Dr. Potter and every other truth teller for exposing the racist ethnic cleansing underbelly that has turned our once beautiful Canadian Province – into a nightmare of division, racism gone wild and riddled with beyond illegal abuse of power “laws”… never seen in the history of the free world since WWII – Fact: 600,000 Quebeckers forced out of their jobs and FORCED to flee – the biggest mass migration of a segment of the population also since WWII in the Free World and deemed unworthy of making the news for over 4 decades? Gee how come? Why has Canada kept that a secret? How come no outrage? How come the ROC has allowed a wall of discrimination to be built against them – that has criminally denied them their/our right to live and work in our English language – with EQUAL RIGHTS in Quebeck? Who -what- where- when- why and how did this happen? Where was/is our Federal protection? Where is the Senate whose job it is to abolish, denounce these monstrous acts of erasing all our rights to live in whatever Province we please? Lots of questions we should be demanding answers to, no?

  33. Here’s the real headline: “McGill Institute Director Thinks Telephone Surveys Provide Accurate Picture of Modern Day Canada”. What a joke! Ever consider that there might be a correlation between A: People who sit at home all day with nothing better to than answer insipid phone surveys and B: People with a lack of connection to their community?

    “Telephone interviewing does, however, have some drawbacks: non-coverage of households is concentrated in certain population groups (those who only have cell phones, mostly young, single, urban Canadians, are excluded from RDD samples).”

    I don’t know a single person… not ONE SINGLE PERSON in my social networks who has a landline phone.

    • Well – hello – I have a landline phone and I know countless people, friends, colleagues etc… in my social network who do have a landline. Then again I’m older than 20 – as most of my network is.

  34. I’m under the impression that this article was written solely to generate shares and comments online with its outlandish claims. People in Quebec share the article on Facebook saying it’s a blatant example of Quebec bashing (which it is, and unapologetically so). Then I google Mr. Andrew Poter, I find out he is a philosopher (which does not surprise me, the use of statistics in this article is spotty, with no sources and no way of knowing what the numbers actually mean, philosophers are notorious for their clumsy use of statistics, they are not trained to draw conclusions from numbers and empirical data). And I concur he is also director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada – like a previous commenter said, this makes me sad. I hope next time he thinks twice about making brash statements in an editorial article, and this leaves me wishing somehow karma will get back at him for his shortsightedness.

  35. Didi Miesen, you have way too much time on your hands…. and you have issues…

    • Looks like you are what getting nervous because the real truth is coming out? Of course I have issues: as should anyone in their ‘right mind”, who deplores the grotesque results of racism and discrimination. What you have a problem with that too ? Pauvre petit.

  36. What the heck is wrong with you, Andrew Potter? This isn’t information or opinion at all, I don’t even know what this is… Aside from bigotry and absence of critical thinking. This as nothing to do with the Quebec I’ve lived in most of my life. I’m at a loss for words as to what could be going on in someone’s mind to write a piece of junk like this that wouldn’t even be acceptable as a highschool paper written by an 8th grader. And Macleans, really? Don’t you have any standards? Oh, and as of 3:30 on Tuesday afternoon, that Facebook link you provided isn’t working.

    • Wow… looks like the OLF has you guys working overtime – to denounce Andrew Potter for daring to tell the truth – and a truth that is miniscule when it comes to the depraved discrimination made legal outright criminal political abuses of power forced upon the population; truths that are only now starting to be told. Oh lala … it must be driving you quite mad to have to accept the ‘fact’ that the “Wall of forced silence and brainwashed fear filled Anglo/Allo obedience”, is crumbling :) And all you’ve got is your typical slurs and deny, deny, deny troll filled cut & paste, “You’re Quebec bashing” threats to what intimidate us into silence again? Hint: Not working – that ship has sailed mes amis :)

  37. What a terrible article, full of inaccuracies and false insinuations. As a McGill grad I’m embarrassed that this kind of article would get published by someone associated with the institution. Andrew, get out of your insulated bubble and discover the true city and people you live with; or better yet, take your sanctimonious preaching back to anglo ROC.

  38. There is a viral video circulating right now of a group of strangers coming together to help free a Montreal bus stuck in the snow. That video could equally be used to confirm a particular narrative about Quebec or Montreal, one that conflicts with the image presented here.

    I have lived in Montreal for 15 years, during which time I have never come across this ‘2 bills’ scenario. I don’t doubt that this exists somewhere, but it’s not typical. I suspect the ‘low trust’ issue comes down to political corruption more than anything, and given Ontario’s ridiculous hydro rates, or Alberta’s history of petro-state politics, maybe those other provinces ought to take a page from Quebeckers and question the intentions of authority figures.

    Quebec has its fair share of problems, but I do wonder why it is necessary to pathologize each of them as the sign of essential cultural flaws, particularly when the same rule is never applied to the people of Ontario when they reject basic sex education or the people of Alberta, who gave us The Rebel.

  39. The article is based on this collaborator’s prejudices…plus he works in Montreal! If he hates Quebeckers so much, get the hell out of our province, because we all pay for your salary with our taxes!!
    Another thing , MacLeans magazine looses a lot of credibility authorizing an idiot like this to post such an article, for the sake of sensationalism. A good bashing article on Quebeckers is good for the sales of their magazine.

  40. Hi dear Director. If you had done like 1,2 million quebecers last Sunday, you would have listen to Tout le monde en parle and would have seen this:
    I guess you know french since you’ve been to UQAM ?
    Because of guys like you, Québec get a bad rap for not being helpfull…we all assumed the gouvernment was on the case and couldn’t know MTQ or the minister DIDN’T activate the PROTOCOL…
    Living and having studied here, you know that the rest of your article is completely bias and lack ALL THE FACTS but cherry picking is SOOOOO RoC when it comes to Québec. And you forgot to mention we are gouverned by the saint trilogy of liberals (Montreal for almost 4 but prior to Coderre Tremblay was there for 12, Québec is sold off bit by bit by liberals for 13 years and Trudeau will bankrupt us for another 8)….Cherry pick all you want but don’t put the blame for this on other than the incompetents which we call gouvernment.

  41. Just the corrections speak volumes about the bias in this piece.

    I would suggest that Mr. Potter pay a visit to Lac Megantic to test his so-called “hypothesis”.

  42. And to add what a crappy message board …. just use the disqus or Facebook plugin and be done with it …. geeze !!!

  43. Maclean’s… oh dear Macleans…. this is a new low, even for you !
    I would like to personally thank you for reminding me that racism, populism, etc… are always there, lurking in the dark.
    Don’t tell me that you actually reviewed and accepted to publish this piece of crap !
    You should be ashamed !

  44. I was born in the middle of the 1970’s in a french family “de souche”, between bill 22 and bill 101. Even as a french child, I went to an English Elementary School. I did high school in French because my mom wanted me to socialize with kids in the neighbourhood. I went to college in French also but I lived in Alberta half a year. I still have my Calgary Coop card.I now lived in Montreal, found that board game in French cost more than those in English, go to a bar where the atmosphere is great but french-speakers can have a little bit of hard time, where service in many downtown shop is in English first… I try to help whenever possible my neighbours, my friends, even people I know nothing. I don’t feel threaten by an opinion text because I think I am a good person whatever someone thinks s/he know.

    The reason I made an account on this site is to say to the one called Didi Miesen : “I feel sorry for you.”

    • Don’t feel sorry for me mon ami and I know you really don’t of course. One has to wonder why so many de souche feel the need to list their history or family tree for that matter before they go on to either denounce, deny or slur directly or indirectly writers who express their opinions especially opinions that criticise le gouvernement de Quebec’s racist and discriminatory outright illegal acts? And spare me your seeming need to pretend that french speakers can ave a bit of a hard time because they’re served in English first? First and foremost we all know that no downtown business would dare commit such a ‘crime’ – given the language police ‘No English allowed’, terrorism they’ve been forced to endure and obey for decades. With of course, no English sins – and no bilingual sinae to be found anywhere in downtown Montreal and yet you claim you and yours are still having a ‘bit of a hard time’ ? Why is that? Because omg you had to endure hearing English spoken first? What an outrage right? It doesn’t matter that it’s the language of 2 million of your fellow citizens who newsflash: pay equal taxes and are supposed to be “Equal Citizens with full and Equal rights and treated with respect etc… or ‘tolerated’ (real nice word that ‘tolerated – which of course they are not). But hey you say you nevertheless you don’t feel ‘threatened by an opinion text’ and make sure we know what a good person you are. Well merci beaucoup for your special input :)

  45. Mr. Potter, you are a miserable, unhappy human being as a result of never having any communications with real Quebecers, French, English or Allophones. I do not know, where you get the nerve to publish such a scathing and trashy article about Quebec! I have lived in Montreal for 30 years and never got offered an “alternative” bill at any restaurants. Those are serious allegations and I truly hope, that this will have consequences for you as the Director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada. You obviously failed to study Quebec and it’s diverseness. Shame on you!

    • Well there you go folks another example of the language police style – barrage of denials and threats against this time Andrew Potter. Typical of the longstanding methods used to keep us maudit Anglos and Allos in line and making sure that anyone else thinking about speaking up and out is going to have their behind handed to them as they’re fired from their jobs. Only in Canada, right?

  46. I blame Donald Trump.

  47. The author refers to statistical data showing that Quebecers do less voluntary work than other Canadians (he might have added that they also donate less to charity but missed that one) suggesting that, somehow, they have less solidarity and empathy than other Canadians. Mr. Potter fails to understand the basic factor that explains those statistics, which is that Quebecers have traditionally relied more on their Government to tackle social problems than other Canadians… Far froma socio-political analysis, Mr. Potter’s “analysis” is rather a collection of his prejudice vis-à-vis Québec. Some of his assertions, such as the double bills in restaurants, are simply ludicrous. McLean’s should be ashamed of publishing such a mediocre piece.

  48. “an almost pathologically alienated and low-trust society, deficient in many of the most basic forms of social capital that other Canadians take for granted. This is at odds with the standard narrative;”

    What is at odds with the standard narrative are your alternate facts. Please take a survey of this country social capital for families and show me where one finds 5-7$ a day daycare, 1 year parental leave with up to 80% of your salary, a provincial medication plans, no-fault low cost car insurance, low cost university education which attracts less financially able out of province students and very talented international students. The library system and the national library are incredible. There is a pick of dozens of festivals (film, music, theatre) museums, galleries and gardens (ecomuzeum, biodome, botanical gardens), provincial and national parks, to add dilemma to family week-end activities. My publicly school elementary age child just left for a 3 day snow trip in one of the hundreds of camps in this province, for a mere 180 $. Please Dr Potter, press the refresh button on your internet browser more often than once a decade to get an update of the social wealth this city and province has to offer. More importantly, please leave the McGill campus on such snowy occasions and participate in the celebrated tradition of pushing our neighbours’ cars out of snow banks, teh standard narrative of social capital.

  49. How Maclean’s exposed that their journalists are racists and ignorants.

  50. For a proud independantist Quebecer like me, there is no surprise to hear or read an anti-Québec bigot vomitting his hate on social medias. What is troubling is to realise that a supposedly serious magazine has accepted to publish such a piece of crap full of lies and false facts without verifications.
    For one thing, it is impossible for a restaurant or even the smallest food counter to have double billing since every cash registers in Québec now are directly connected to Revenu Québec. I have been travelling for the past 40 years in all eastern Canada and can assure you it is much worst in Ontario for example where some businesses do not have a modern cash register and no scan in order to elude taxes altogether.
    Next time MacLeans publishes I suggest you double check on your sources.

  51. Had this article been published on April 1st I would have thought it was an April Fools joke. What a disgraceful article. I’m stunned that Macleans would publish this and even more stunned that the author is the Director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada!! Quebec may have a low level of volunteers and charitable donors but that’s because they view the alleviation of poverty as a role of government. For Quebecers, the need for charity is indicative of a failure of government. Most left leaning people across Canada would probably agree. How pathetic that the director of the Institute for the Study of Canada seems to base his knowledge solely on statistics. Maybe he should get out and talk to people.

    • Mr. Potter is brilliant.
      There is a reason why he is the Director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, he is smart.

      “Quebec may have a low level of volunteers and charitable donors but that’s because they view the alleviation of poverty as a role of government. For Quebecers, the need for charity is indicative of a failure of government” = failure of the people, very dysfunctional.

      Are you joking??

      “How pathetic that the director of the Institute for the Study of Canada seems to base his knowledge solely on statistics”….that is how you prove your point in an argument, by showing facts, stats, not childish name calling like many posters here.

  52. Another English supremacist so separatist journalist (did I forget to say Canadian ?). With pieces like this one, with English separatist like this English journalist (did I forget to say Canadian ?) Québec should repatriate the, word Canada, while guys like him would live in USK, United States Kingdom. Reading this piece, we feel all the malaise of this English separatist journalist for those Canadians whose ancestors arrived 200 years before his.

  53. I had enough of those English Canadians who never miss an ocassion to write shit about quebecker in their garbage…I think they have fun and enjoy it…LEAVE US ALONE AND JUST CARE ABOUT YOUR OWN BUSINESS IN YOUR PROVINCE…YOU’RE DIRT

    • Yes I wish Le Journal de Montreal would stop bashing my English Montreal community.
      I wish the changeur at the Metro would stop beating me up because I asked question in English.

    • @Josee Grimarj: Please make it clear that you do not and are not, not, not speaking on behalf on anyone in Quebeck other than yourself and the Seppie 30,000 member minority and I remind you Quebeck belongs not only to all Quebeckers it also belongs to all, I repeat all Canadians and it is all Candians business. Although I’m sure that that part of Canadian history and law was not part of your Quebecois revised education curriculum, which would explain your being unaware of that ‘fact’.

  54. Mr. Potter is brilliant!
    He is simply stating that Quebec is far more dysfunctional when compared to other provinces.
    He backs up his argument with proof like Police not wearing proper uniform, lowest level of volunteer rate, lowest level of charity donations etc..which leads to an unhealthy ‘malaise’ society.
    The dangers of a severely dysfunctional society can lead to…300 people stranded on Hwy 13 for more than 14 hours…no emergency response…deaths.
    He is simply stating the truth, not “Quebec Bashing.”

  55. After reading these comments, clearly nothing has changed in Quebec.
    Instead of the Roman Catholic Church, Duplessis keeping most Quebecers in the dark, it is the Francophone elite politicos feeding them false info, preventing les habitants from gaining knowledge and increasing their standard to that of English Canada. They will never know.

  56. I am a Quebecor and I lived 10 years outside Quebec (5 years BC and 5 years Ont). Things are not better or worst but just different. Quebecors chose to pay more taxes to help the poor. Higher education is less expensive and so is child care. So Quebecors are not less generous, they chose to give differently. This article is full of clichés. The author is supposed to be a researcher at McGill U. McGill should be ashamed to be associated with this type of garbage: poor research and intellectual shortcuts.

  57. Definition of racism ; prejudice towards people based on their ethnicity,social behavior and innate capacities that can be ranked as inferior.
    I believe this author is a racist, and that this article contains hatred litterature.

  58. I personally think that this article hits the nail on the head and even though people are mad after reading it, they just hang on to one thing, and that s the two mistakes the author makes concerning underground working and the hospitals. I think had Mr. Potter done more research he would have come up with many more deficencies. The Quebekers do have that seperation risk in their dna and they use it every once in a while as a threat or other but the fact that we are different is very well noted and that is what I make of this whole article, which is great, by the way. We are a different people and tend to associate more easily with the French overseas than with the remainder of Canada and that is also in our dna. I say we because I live in Quebec but I’m truely not of that dna. I’m Canadian and I like the Canadian Conservative values. Mr Potter, keep up the good work and like I said, only a small portion of your article is a misdemeanor but you have such a great insight into Quebekers as a whole.

  59. December 2007 ; the canadian islamic congress filed a complaint about hate speach against Maclean s magazine (for a column by Mark Steyn ) under criminal law # 319.

  60. Why is this article still online ? And why Mr Potter’s excuses on Facebook recognising he’s wrong don’t appear on this page as it should ?

    • It’s most probably still on line because unlike Quebecois media free speech – articles and particularly truthful and wonderful and courageous ones like Mr. Potter wrote are part of what most Canadians consider not only necessary but newsflash; absolutely normal and I repeat absolutely necessary. Believe it or not that’s the way Quebeck used to be – when it was the richest Province in the country, when Montreal was the financial capital of the country and renowned for its being “Our” Paris of North (note the word ‘our’) and hailed as being the best place to live in the country. Of course that was when English Media still existed and was an integral part of the Greater Montreal community as were countless other cultural publications and believe it or not something we were all proud of being a part of. The very thought of denying or erasing a well learned published piece frankly would never have entered anyone’s mind and rightfully so of course. So sad to see vous ne comprends pas.

    • I don’t agree with Mr. Potter, but we should defend his right to express his views and expose them to criticism.

  61. I am totally appalled by McCleans’s bashing people from Quebec!!! This is a shame that we have in Canada a magazine that is trying to make money by ridiculing people from its own country! Why don’t you laugh at the Newfies instead?!!! In Quebec, there is not a single media that bashes AngloCanadians. It’s because Quebecers have a sense of responsability and dignity that Macleans don’t have.

    • I agree with you; they love to laugh at us; they are the best in that…lol…

      • you remembered the picture of their front page in their article in 2010 (Bonhomme carnaval); this is an example how they love ridiculing and laughing at people in Quebec. At that time, I was very upset…

    • Excuse mois? Not a single media in Quebec that bashes Anglo Canadians you say? Hello were you living on another planet these past 4 decades? Newsflash: Bashing Anglo Canadians has been le Quebecois media’s nonstop daily raison d’etres mon ami with irrefutable proof beyond easy to find. I suggest you pull up any of the I repeat beyond countless 4 decades of daily slur those maudit Anglos articles including the political anti Anglo (heard of Madame Marios and her countless ‘Anti Anglo speeches and opinions etc…for instance??) not only speeches but outright ‘laws’ against the Anglo population – you know like the main one that illegally erased our English language off the Quebec map – and of course the “Language Police” ?? Yup real dignified of Quebecois – right?

    • Yeah and why isn’t there any English on the signs in Quebec? That’s not Anglo bashing
      Mhm that’s what I thought, biggot

  62. It’s a good thing that Max Paccioretty, the captain of Les Canadiens, did not inherit the pathological lack of empathy of his Quebecois paternal grandmother. That must be the reason why he picked his shovel to help his neighbors stuck in snowbanks during one of the worst snowstorms Quebec has experienced in decades.

    Maybe Mr. Potter should have done the same instead of staying in his McGill office to write his rather embarrassing essay about Quebec being a «pathologically alienated and low-trust society». He would have had the opportunity to meet hundreds of compassionate Quebecois who did not hesitate to push buses and cars, take in neighbors who were out of power and fuel, and generally take care of each other.

    Perhaps he should have also watched the news and he would have learned that a high rank civil servant at the Ministry of Transport judged that the situation did not need her attention, despite hundreds of calls from drivers stuck in the snow and even SQ officers sent to the scene, while the ministers of Civil Security and Transport went to bed, totally oblivious of the situation.

    He would have learned that the particular section of the now renowned A-13 has a history of problems since snow removal was contracted out to Roxboro Excavation, a generous contributor to the PLQ.

    In 1971, the PLQ government of Robert Bourassa called the members of skidoo clubs to deliver food, medication and fuel to people in need, while citizens opened their doors to drivers stranded on the road during what is now dubbed the «Snowstorm of the Century», which I remember vividly, since my late father had to sleep in his Quebec City office for two days.

    In 1998, the PQ Prime minister Lucien Bouchard, Canada’s separatist Antichrist, cancelled a commercial mission in Central America to stay in Quebec and was giving twice-a-day briefings about the relief efforts during a massive Ice storm that damaged a quarter of Quebec’s electrical grid, leaving 1.4 million Québécois without power from days to weeks. Again, we saw how the population of Quebec pulled together to help each other, managing emergency shelters, delivering fire wood and helped anyway they could, as they did for the Saguenay flood of 1996, the Thailand tsunami of 2004, the Haiti earthquake of 2010, the devastating Lac Megantic railway disaster of 2013, the sponsoring of thousands of Syrian refugees in 2016, and the shooting of 6 men in the Quebec City mosque in January 2017.

    In 2017, all the elected PLQ elite had to offer were pathetic apologies because they ignored the warnings about the potential dangerousness of a storm forecasted days ahead and left hundreds of commuters stranded in the cold on a busy urban highway. What we witnessed in the night of March 14-15 tells more about the low esteem the PLQ political elite has for the people of Quebec and how Quebecois responded like they always do in times of crisis : care for each another because, like Gilles Vigneault sings : «les humains sont de ma race».

    It is also quite telling to see to what extend a media like MacClean’s can go to generate clicks by publishing such piece of utter nonsense. We know of many journalists and academics who lost their jobs for less than that.

    • Maybe you should stop sticking your head in the sand and address one simple inequity then sweetheart: this is a multilingual country. Why the HELL is English not on your signs? French removed from the rest of Canada signs and see how you like that you entitled French priss

  63. This article is insane!!!!!! I ve been living in Montréal , and visting all around Quebec for the past 22 years! There is nothing compared to the solidarity of the quebecois de souche, even the english ones! This article can refers, in a highly exagerated away, to downtown Montréal, where the cultural mixture leads in fact to a less first world way of living. But never, I say never in life, those statistics consider the hole province. It a just impossible!!!!

  64. Andrew Potter’s article «How a snowstorm exposed Quebec’s real problem: social malaise» (Macleans March 20 2017) is full of hatred.

    It suggests that in Montreal restaurants, owners show two bills: an official one with taxes, and another one if paid cash under the table. I am 62 and went hundreds of times in Montreal restaurants but I’ve never experienced that situation.

    Potter’s article suggests that there is no solidarity in Quebec when compared with the rest of the country. Once again a deep misunderstanding. We pay huge taxes to make sure that all have services and these are often more generous than those offered in the rest of the country.

    The author refers to the uniform worn by Montreal police as evidence against the existence of solidarity. But it is union solidarity against authoritarian violation of the contractual agreements that had been signed by the government. If they would have complied with the government, that would not be an instance of solidarity but an instance of accepting an authoritarian imposition of ‘law and order’.

    Quebec may also have the largest underground economy, but fiscal evasion in the Caribbean islands was implemented by Canadian governmental representatives.

    We may have small family and friends network, but we have a sense of national identity and collective rights that we don’t see reflected in Canada’s constitutional order.

    Civic Engagement ? The author should know that Quebeckers have relied on their government and we may perhaps do so more than Canadians do rely on their own government. It may be a residual element of our Catholic heritage.

    The author also writes : «Compared to the rest of the country, Quebec is an almost pathologically alienated and low-trust society, deficient in many of the most basic forms of social capital that other Canadians take for granted.»

    This is almost racist, and Maclean’s should not let such hatred in the magazine.

    Shame on you Macleans and shame on you Andrew Potter..

    • It’s very clear you have no knowledge or experience in what the rest of the country is about mon ami. The author is not only ‘spot on’, saying that, compared to the rest of the country Quebec is almost pathologically alienated and low-trust society, deficient in many of the most basic forms of social capital that other Canadians take for granted”, he is in fact being extremely kind or should I say – doesn’t dare make the real truth clearer. Quebec is – compared to the rest of the country – nothing short of a total dictatorship – riddled with outright Constitutionally illegal and grotesque criminal abuse of power – ILLEGAL Laws – that in FACT totally imprison the entire population into being forced to live with “No or very few Rights and Freedoms” the rest of the country enjoys and yes takes for granted. Quebeckers are totally unaware of the FACT that QC legislators ERASED those rights and freedoms – by rewriting and changing our PUBLIC LAWS (look up the definition of Public Laws and the “fact” that NO Provincial governments are allowed to diminish, amend etc… ANY of our guaranteed rights – and yet QC politicos have flagrantly violated their sworn oaths of office and done just that) and turning Quebeck into their own little “damned if you do and damned if you don’t political “fiefdom”… where they do whatever they please with our lives and write and enact and enforce any lunatic loi – they feel like and the population “must obey or else”!! Far too many Quebecers, especially those under 50 have no clue how repressed and suppressed they actually are because they’ve never experienced the real freedom and real “democracy” the rest of the country ‘takes for granted’; as proven by the ” cult like outrage” posts, over this article makes clear. Posters (pretty much all of them being francophone – who of course have never been subjected to the nightmares of discrimination the non francophones are forced to endure multiple times a day) screeching Potter should be fired – that MaClean’s is racist or Quebec bashing on a level that is about as close to hysterical as it can get; and all because omg Potter dared say Quebec is dysfunctional? But hey they seem to have no problem slurring the rest of the country do they? And yet are beyond threatened and/or outraged “ready to burn him at the stake, so to speak, when an Anglo Quebecker dares speaks the truth. Now is that sane or insane? That folks is to say the least, a perfect example of “Dysfunctional”.

  65. This is spot on. Quebec is full of stuck up people who think they are entitled to something more than everyone else. Pathetic excuses for Canadians. I was really hoping the seperation would occur just so we don’t have to hear their whining anymore.

    Also we should take french off signs outside of Canada until they start putting English on their signs. This is a multilingual country. Deal with it frogs, see please let the door hit your French azz on the way out

    • Andrew905: you’re the most disgusting individual on earth…try to live in peace!!

      • Andrew905: don’t call us “frogs” anymore “squarehead”. I speak white as you, but I’m convinced that you’re not able to speak my language. You’re talking about multicultural country but you’re not really open mind

  66. Newsflash: Well folks, I just heard the news; Andrew Potter was FORCED TO RESIGN – in other word FIRED and his career destroyed – all for writing this article. And that folks is what REAL LIFE for Anglos and Allos is all about in la YECH Dictatorship of Quebec!!!! I hope all you attackers are real happy and proud of yourselves for destroying another Anglo life!!!

  67. [Pasted below are two tweets Chantal Hebert tweeted in reaction to Potter’s column]:
    1. “I must go to wrong restaurants. I was never once offered a choice of 2 bills. And my bank (bmo) does not give $50 by default. Go figure!”
    2. “So it is not just me who has missed out on Mtl restaurants that routinely offer a choice of two bills.Or that has friends and loving family!” -Chantal Hebert

  68. This is all by design.

    Quebec once had a proud culture and Quebecois were once a very proud people.

    That cultural pride was what drove the secessionist movement.

    After the 1995 referendum, the Central Canadian elites (of which, Justin Trudeau is and his father was a distinguished member) cobbled up a plan to kill off Quebec separatism by killing off Quebec culture by forcing fiscal dependence upon Quebec, primarily through equalization.

    In the past decade, Ontario and Alberta paid into the system which brought Quebec to it’s knees by making Quebec an economic vassal to the Federal government. You cannot have a strong culture without a strong economy – and thanks to Ottawa, Quebec now has neither.

    The problem is, this fiscal dependence had no defined upper limit – so as Quebec stagnates into a post-apocalyptic, post-national state, the cost to the rest of the country will continue to increase. Problem is – the two main payers of Quebec’s membership in Canada were Ontario and Alberta.

    Ontario, however, is now facing many of the same structural problems Quebec is – a rapidly diminishing demography particularly with a soon to be resurgent regional rival in the “rust-belt” American states. Ontario is now a have-not province, along with Quebec.

    Now, the fiscal burden of keeping Quebec in Canada falls squarely on the shoulders of Alberta – who is starting to show cracks of it’s own.

    The future does NOT look bright for Canada.

  69. Lovely Canadian anglos… granted the crisis was mismanged to to equate all Quebecers with .. poops… at least our Montreal mayor does not do drug deals in back alleys.

    • That’s right.

      Our Montreal mayor(s) do drug deals in restaurant booths exchanging brown envelopes, not in back alleys…that’s where our cops, dressed as clowns, have sex with under-aged drunk girls, in our cruises, defaced with union stickers.

      Absolutely nowhere else in Canada, an entire society, is this dysfunctional.

  70. I am disappointed, but not surprised, that this bright mind Andrew Potter has resigned (fired).

    And that is the dysfunction of English Canadians…being nice…way too nice, going overboard to apologise for offending the hyper-sensitive masses in Quebec.

    The fact that Quebecers cannot take criticisms, especially when it is substantiated with stats, personal life experiences, shows Quebecers are immature. YOU NEED TO GROW UP QUEBEC.

    And English Canadians, please stop being such cowards, wusses. Your niceness is what led to Quebec being a rotten spoiled child. Stop supporting Quebec, stop giving Quebec $10bil in welfare payments and special rights and privileges, unless other provinces receive same.

  71. I guess the next time, we’ll just call in the army, like REAL Canadians.

  72. I agree with Potter, my family has lived in Quebec for centuries and since the 1960’s things have gone from bad to worse. His example of the 2 bills is spot on. I often had in the past to use contractors and it was always the same thing, cash or cheque, Cash always was far less expensive. We had the big ice storm 1998 in Montreal when the city was shut down and millions suffered in cold silence while the Hydro Quebec sign on the HQ of the electric company shined on. Yep that is Quebec all right. A lot of time wasted on talking distinct society and nothing spent on essentials.

  73. I am a French Canadian and I do not feel think the background issue that defines the subject matter of the article is very interesting and I do not feel offended by the article. While I agree that the article makes a lot of dubious connections and intellectual shortcuts, some of the underlying assumptions about the lack of communitarian values in Quebec have some truth in it. It does emphasizes the mythical character of Quebec’s distinct society concept or the way we used in political and constitutional debates to point to the uniqueness of the province of Quebec within Canada. This may be construed as a myth because the moral and spiritual foundations of the Quebec society were embodied in the catholic Church which collapsed in the steps of the Quiet Revolution in the 70’s. Prior to that, Quebec was a de facto state religion which extended its influence in all spheres of society. The Quiet Revolution that was heavily modeled after French secularism reaffirmed the values of the state and nation over that of the Church which evacuated at the same time a lot of the social and communitarian aspects that were once binding us. Divided over the question of sovereignty, Quebec is in now in a identical and spiritual void. In comparison, despite the changes in society, English Canada was marked by continuity. Its anglo-protestant foundations remained largely intact and are reflected in the stats: like more philanthropic donations, more volunteering, etc.

    It is the type of historical, or anthropological analysis that Canadian should expect in their newspaper. Not some cheap shot associations and debate over a snow storm! Andrew, you could have done better!

    nationalism and laicity. In contrast, the Anglo-Saxon protestant core continued to define exist elsewhere

  74. About the differences between English Canada and Quebec, here are some other facts :

    Religious attendance (aged 15 +):
    According to StatCan: 25% in Quebec against 32% in Canada… So I’ll make a Andrew Potter of myself and conclude that more Canadians than Quebecers don’t believe in Darwin’s evolution theory and in science

    According to 2011 census : 48.4 of Quebecers are bilingual against 33.7% of Canadians… So I’ll make a Andrew Potter of myself and conclude that Quebecers are more open to other languages than French than Canadians are open to other languages than English.

    Quebec is the province with the highest income tax in Canada… So I’ll make a Andrew Potter of myself and conclude that social solidarity of Quebecers is higher that social solidarity of Canadians.


    Reply ↓

  75. I am amazed that Potter resigned for this article. I lived in Quebec for 5 years and think that he describes it well.

  76. [Resending from my earlier post with corrections.]

    I am a French Canadian and I think that the background issue that defines the subject matter of the article is very interesting and I do not feel offended by it. While I agree that the article makes a lot of dubious connections and intellectual shortcuts, some of the underlying assumptions about the lack of communitarian values in Quebec have some truth in it. It does emphasize the mythical character of Quebec’s distinct society concept and the way it has been used in political battles to point to the uniqueness of the Province of Quebec within Canada. This may be construed as a myth because the moral and spiritual foundations of the Quebec society were embodied in the catholic Church which collapsed in the wake of the Quiet Revolution in the 70s. Prior to that, Quebec was a de facto state religion which extended its influence in all spheres of society. The Quiet Revolution that was heavily modeled after French secularism which reaffirmed the values of the state and nation over that of the Church and placed a very high moral authority on the Quebec government. This transcendent moral authority has decayed over the years with the nationalistic turmoil and divisions which left the Quebec society in an identical and spiritual void. In comparison, English Canada was marked by moral continuity and nothing really changed in its anglo-protestant foundations which are deeply embedded in institutions and social mores. Hence the stats that were cited in the article.

    It is the type of historical or anthropological analysis that Canadians should expect of editorials. Not some cheap shot associations over a snow storm blunder that has nothing to do with the debate. Andrew, we expect way more from an academician and you have much more to learn about the Quebec society! Go back to the books, then we can have a high level debate.

    • I appreciate this comment. I was very alarmed by the level of subjective judgement that began the article, but then was sobered and grateful to find it was based on data collected from Quebecers describing themselves. However if these are the issues, I think they can be approached with far more compassion and interest, than sweeping dirision. What is a non-Quebecer’s high moral ground if criticizing the symptoms with no interest in the cause? Aren’t we then guilty of the same discordant behaviour? As a Canadian, I think we often describe ourselves, or have been described, as being “nice”. In my eyes, that means a compassionate and helpful attitude where criticism is warranted. We are, after all, in this all together.

  77. OK, Quebecers, please let us know if you have ever been asked to pay cash by a “family doctor, or ultrasound clinic”. About as many as have been offered two bills or encountered cash machines that dispense $50 bills – whatever the significance of that is supposed to be. Sadly, it is not only universities in Quebec that have very poor academics teaching courses at over $1000 a semester. That is really what should be the subject of the discussion here.

  78. As someone who is about to move back to Quebec after a long absence, this is kind of discouraging. But then, there’s the other side, the good side of my home province – perhaps somebody could write an article about that.

  79. Pottering along, Quebec style

    What can I say about Mr. Potter’s MacLean article that has not been said….

    My name is Léonard Lafleur. I am the 5th child born to Ruth LaPrairie and Jules Lafleur. Mother was a unilingual, anglophone catholic of Irish/French Canadian descent who was perfectly bilingual after 10 pregnancies. My dad was a francophone bilingual country doctor. We grew up in Lachute, a small bilingual town near the Ontario border.

    We were raised in both languages from birth, went to French school, played with any and all kids on our street, never noticed a difference based on language.

    Back then, religion was the great divide. That disappeared as a factor (for francophones) by the 70’s. I am 70 years old, married to an angel from the Lac St Jean these last 43 years (Monique)and the proud dad of two children, Sarah and Alexandre. I worked in Quebec most of my life, except for a brief stint in Mississauga in the early 70’s.

    My family has been in America for 12 generations. The ancestor was an illiterate soldier doing military service. He stayed on, married and begat children. Peasants, then farmers, builders, doctors, a few rogues, at least one priest and scholar, the usual mix.

    All this begetting happened in French, right up to my dad’s generation. Now, the extended family speaks French and a Babel of languages having ”gone global” and settled in far away places, such as Taiwan, Japan, The United Kingdom, Australia, the U.S.A, Ontario, even!

    So, now you know a bit about me and my clan. Are we typical or atypical Quebecois? Let me say this to any redneck out there looking for an excuse to leave this monologue: I am not a separatist, although I respect the rights of any person or political party who want to change things the democratic way. As long as I can put my 5 cents worth in…

    So, back to Mr. Potter.

    What happened on Autoroute 13 last week was a sad comedy of incompetence, top to bottom. We (the silent Quebec majority) have no lessons to learn from Mr. Potter. We have been learning the hard way over too many years, decades, that people in authority, like small children, should not, cannot be left to their own devices, without citizen overview. Tell me the same does not apply elsewhere in Canada ?

    We the people hold our elected officials to account, most of the time, unless they flimflam us, or another crisis interrupts the flow of promises come election time, just like elsewhere in Canada…

    So, take a pill, R.O.C…and let’s all praise the lord (for believers), or praise whatever ( for us pagans) that we live in relative bitchy harmony with social programs creaking along, with less guns and more caring than our friends in TrumpLand!


    Léonard Lafleur

  80. Montreal has always been the most beautiful most exciting city in Canada- however over the past ten years there has been a deterioration in the public face of the city that I’ve noticed in small but important things I’d never see in downtown Toronto (sorry). Open trashcans waiting for pick up in the summer sun. A dripping ceiling in the subway. Broken tiles on the subway wall. No scrolling electronic sign on the bus; no audio calling out the next stop. Broken sidewalk without orange cones to warn pedestrians. And overall just a shabby feel to so much of the infrastructure. Of course there is still so much that is truly great- especially the neighbourhood restaurants with affordable real food (versus a sandwich) and the people of the city.

    • Journalistic Freedom. Defending the indefensible is not what would be expected of a reputable (?) magazine such as Mcleans. The comments in the article are indefensible as Mr Potter himself has apologized. Leaving aside the patently absurd comments about 2 bills the various statistics about friendship etc could easily be counterbalanced with other stats about crime rates, driving behaviour etc. True journalism seeks to portray the balanced facts of a situation and not some basket of ‘alternate facts’ designed to influence opinion in a specific direction. Why don’t we talk about the drug epidemic in BC where multiple people die every day as a sign of a ‘pathologically ‘ disfunctional society? At least our camo clad sticker plastered police are on the job and, unlike Ontario and Alberta we are managing to balance the budget, have universal drug insurance and rebuild some of the crumbling infrastructure
      I am a lifelong Anglo Quebecer and have seen many faces of the province over half a century. While we have not resolved all the problems, great steps have and are being taken to get to a fair and productive society where all can flourish in peace and prosperity
      As an individual, Mr Potter is free to rant like a common talk radio caller as he wishes . As a professor, we would expect his comments to be intellectually rigorous and supported with balanced academic research. As the DIRECTOR of McGill University Institue of Canadian Studies we would DEMAND the highest standard of professionalism and exhaustive research to support this article. This is an article that belongs in one place, the trash, and McGill is absolutly correct in removing the author from the directorship

  81. So, there are human snowflakes in Quebec as well as the cold stormy ones. Come on lighten up! A man lost his job over this? As a western Canadian, it is not news to me that there is an underground economy of cheating and probably of selfishness in La Belle Province. Mayors that connive with the mob, graft in construction, nonsensical language rules, we’ve known about it forever. If it is so offensive to have it discussed in a national magazine, then do something about it. As Shakespeare observed “Methinks he protesteth too much”. The guilty are often the loudest in claiming outrage.