After a 33-day campaign, the Parti Liberal du Quebec under leader Dr Philippe Couillard has emerged victorious in last night's provincial election
. The final seat count is LIB: 70, PQ: 30, CAQ: 22, QS: 3, OTH: 0. [more inside]
On April 7th, Quebeckers will head to the polls because of a snap election called by the PQ minority government.
Of course, as in this part of Canada, election time is never without controversy. Between Liberal leader Phillippe Couillard touting the benefits of bilingualism
and CAQ leader Francois LeGault presenting his budget if his party is elected
, it all pales to this past weekend's announcement that Quebec media oligarch Pierre Karl Peladeau is running in a riding for the Parti Quebecois
. [more inside]
"In October 2013, Drs. Tim Perkins and Abby van Den Berg of the University of Vermont’s Proctor Maple Research Center
, revealed the findings of a study at a maple syrup conference in New Brunswick, Canada that sent waves through the industry. In 2010, they were studying vacuum systems in sap collection operations. Based on the observation that one of the mature trees in the study that was missing most of its top was still yielding high volumes of sap, they hypothesized that the maples were possibly drawing moisture from the soil and not the crown. Previously, they had presumed that the sap dripping from tap holes was coming from the upper portion of the tree. But, if the tree was missing most of its crown then, they surmised, it must be drawing moisture from the roots. ... They realized that their discovery meant sugarmakers could use saplings, densely planted in open fields, to harvest sap. In other words, it is possible that maple syrup could now be produced as a row crop like every other commercial crop in North America.
" [more inside]
Public hearings of Quebec's controversial Charter of Values is set to begin today.
The proposal of Charter of Values
seems to be a divisive issue in the province for native Francophones, Anglophones, and allophones. It has led to a rise of ugly incidents.
Recently, Quebec's annual comedy award show, Le Gala les Oliver
opened with its host, Mario Jean, coming out in blackface to imitate a black comedian. Of course, there has been considerable stunned
But this is not the first incident of the use of "blackface" in high profile in the province. In 2011, a McGill student filed a complaint with the Quebec Human Rights commission after his classmates donned blackface and imitated Jamaican stereotypes. [more inside]
In the archives of Cinema Canada
(1962-1989), articles about the relationship of Canadian cinema to American genre films
, the Canadianization of popular comedy
, and "what is 'Canadian film'?
" stand out as typical--even commonplace, given their context. They also happen to suggest an interesting mix of obscure and popular films to watch. [more inside]
Quebec throws out Charest, elects PQ minority government
Quebec has handed a minority government to the Parti Quebecois, a left-leaning separatist party who promised to freeze tuition
, the subject of massive demonstrations discussion previously on the blue.
, authorities discovered over 10 million pounds
of maple syrup (1/4 of provincial reserves
) missing from a Quebec warehouse
. It is valued at over $30 million dollars.
RCMP eyed philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre during tense Quebec political upheaval. [theglobeandmail.com]
Canadian spies closely eyed existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, tracking his planned trip to Quebec in support of people arrested during a crackdown on separatist threats, newly released documents show.
The declassified Royal Canadian Mounted Police dossier on Mr. Sartre also reveals that Mountie intelligence officers pored over translations of the French writer’s pronouncements, monitored his links to the peace movement and noted the academic rebel’s brushes with the law.
In March, 2012, students in Montreal, Canada took to the streets to protest the Quebec Liberal government's intention to raise tuition by 75% over five years.
The red square
, a symbol of the last student strike, quickly became the symbol of this one as well. [more inside]
Timelapse Intersection Articulée à Montréal
In October, 2011, the Contemporary Museum of Monteral presented "Intersection Articulée", an interactive installation from Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. It was composed of 18 projectors of 10k watts each, visible from ~9 miles (15km) away. Here's some time lapse video results, with music.
Last week, the NHL's Montreal Canadiens
, struggling with numerous injuries, underperforming stars, and a 13-11-7 record, fired head coach Jacques Martin
. They replaced him with Randy Cunneyworth, the head coach of their farm team
in Hamilton, Ontario. Cunneyworth is a former NHL defenseman and a blue-chip coaching prospect, but there's one problem: he doesn't speak French. [more inside]
Meanwhile, in Montreal, tens of thousands of students take to the streets to protest...tuition increases
. [more inside]
Political shifts mustn’t threaten Canada’s unity, vision.
An opinion piece by (the much loved and/or hated)Preston Manning
about the recent Canadian election, and how it will affect Quebec's relationship with the rest of Canada.
Bacon-wrapped cupcakes: What could possibly go wrong? Well, try explaining your Internet-famous project (Epic Meal Time
) in English on Quebec’s most popular French-language talk show. Bonus difficulty points: You already are
from Quebec, but you don’t speak French well enough to swagger through an interview. Anglo journo Fagstein analyzes
the “controversy.” (The interview in question, from Tout le monde en parle
, on YouTube
Quebec is on fire
. [more inside]
Recent troubles with Muslim women's clothes
have lead to the Quebec Government to begin proposing legislation on the issue of face covering and access to public services
. The niqab has become a central symbol in the anti-muslim rhetoric of nationalist parties in Europe (political poster examples: France
, and Britain
) about the threat Islam poses to tolerant secular societies. [more inside]
Montréal Mirabel Airport
was opened in 1975 at the cost of $2 billion adjusted. Ultimately its tarmac and runway areas alone were to take up 70 km2
) of space and would have made it the world's largest airport. The airport never got any busier than Boise Airport is today, and the passenger terminals are now abandoned shells (slideshow
). A key factor
in the failure was that for 22 years authorities banned all international flights from the much-closer, thriving Dorval Airport, heavily used by locals and business travellers. It didn't help that Montreal was already sliding into decline in the 1970s due to the growth of the Great Lakes and Toronto-based economies and uncertainties about Quebec's political
climate. Montreal is no stranger to alleged boondoggles: Olympic Stadium
, half-finished during the 1976 Summer Games, spiralled $1 billion
The Canadian Government’s Translation Bureau
recently made its French/English/Spanish technical terminology database, Termium
, free to access after over a decade as a subscription-based service. While off-the-cuff translations are often available from free services like BabelFish
, Termium focuses on technical terminology such as scientific, medical and legal terms. [more inside]
Two hundred and fifty years ago the Battle of the Plains of Abraham
* took place in Quebec City. In a fight that lasted less than an hour (following a three-month siege throughout the summer of 1759), both generals died
and the British won Quebec, soon becoming masters of most of North America. [more inside]
(single link interactive youtube game) - Patrick Boivin
(from visual wizards Phylactère Cola
]) strikes again with a new stop animation game following his success with YouTube Street Fighter
A recent series of posts on the web site of First Things magazine looks at what could be described as a reactionary moment on the part of some folk and roots musicians in Québec and around the world... and we're not talking The Goldwaters
). [more inside]
So you've finished hiking the Appalachian Trail
, just came down from Mount Katahdin
, and you're wondering what to do now. Well, there's always the International AT
, which goes through the Chic-Choc Mountains
on the Gaspé Peninsula
before crossing over to Newfoundland. Then you'd have hiked the tallest mountains in Quebec, right? Wrong. 800 miles to the north
, on the border of Quebec and Newfoundland, lie the Torngats
. [more inside]
In 1684, the French Crown didn't send Quebec its yearly allotment of currency
. Yet, the soldiers needed to be paid. [more inside]
Culture en péril
- In these Canadian election times
and in response to the recent Culture cuts from Conservatives
- three of the best Quebec talents in music, theater and humor join forces
and hit back
with a highly satirical imagining of the replacement program (captioned).
, an open-source community based in Québec, is suing the Québec government for buying Microsoft software
when free alternatives are available. Facil's press release
says, in part, "From February to June 2008, FACIL has noticed sales of proprietary software for more than 25 million dollars. These purchases were made for products offered by large multinational enterprises, with no regard to suppliers in Quebec. ... While most of the developed countries have started, a few years back, migrating their technological infrastructures to Free Software, Quebec's public administration is far behind." Some applaud
Facil's move. Others, not so much
Canadian writer, actor, and director Robert Lepage
, whose work has included Jésus de Montréal
and Le Confessional
, has recently turned his attention to - of all places - the Bunge Grain complex in Quebec City
. In celebration of Quebec's 400th anniversary, Lepage turned the complex into a vast movie screen
30 meters tall and 600 meters wide. This project is known as the Image Mill
. If you happen to be in Quebec City, you can watch it at the Port of Québec, every night at 10 PM, until August 24.
Quebec Margarine War Ends! For 21 years Quebec has regulated the colour of margarine, insisting it be distinctly lighter or distinctly darker than butter... The stated reason has been to protect consumers from unscrupulous restaurateurs selling margarine as butter. The real reason was to protect the province's politically influential dairy industry. [more inside]
Gasoline prices fixed.
11 Quebec companies and 13 individuals were charged today in a gas price fixing scheme. The Competition Bureau
conducted a lengthy investigation
into the allegations. [more inside]
"The sweet aroma of sap permeating the air, still harkens the arrival of Spring"*
in New England
and other U.S. states
. The Eastern Woodland Indians discovered that maple sap cooked over an open fire produces a sweet sugar [video]
, resulting in maple syrup
. Many associate the syrup with Quebec
(which produces most of the world's supply) and Vermont
where about "one of every four trees...is a maple
Vermont even has a "maple cop
." He enforces "Vermont's maple regulations for the state Agency of Agriculture, which strictly regulates how Vermont's most famous export is made, marketed and sold."* [more inside]
Results of tonight's election in Quebec are in.
The Quebec Liberal Party has managed just barely to hold onto power in that province, winning a minority government--the first time this has happened in la belle province
since...well...since the year the phonograph was first patented. But there's an even bigger story. And that's the apparent collapse of the separatist Parti Québécois
vote, in favour of the centre-right Action Démocratique Party
, surprising just about everybody other than those who actually live in the province.
Here's the breakdown in the vote as of 11:00PM:
Liberal (32.50%) - ADQ (31.19%) - PQ (28.48%).
What these results mean for Canada's federal parliament---also in a minority situation---is anyone's guess at this point. The smart money is on Prime Minister Harper calling an early summer election. These results tonight would certainly give him reason to think that Quebec voters are in the mood for change. But like spring weather in these parts, things are quite changeable these days.
Quebecois now a nation.
Arguably, this all started with Liberal Party leadership candidate Michael Ignatieff
opening the Pandora's Box of Quebec nationhood
earlier this fall, pondering whether the French-speaking province
should be granted some sort of special status. Canadians old enough to remember Meech Lake
and the Charlottetown Accord
feared the worst.
Before you knew it, the Bloc was arguing that Quebec ought to be viewed as a "nation without conditions"
. Prime Minister Steven Harper then presented a motion to Parliament recognizing the Quebecois as a nation. The controversy raged, both from the Conservatives
and the Liberals
. Yesterday, the House of Commons overwhelmingly voted for the motion
. Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Michael Chong has resigned
. His statement
How will this change the country? How do nations operate within other nations
? Who is a Quebecois anyways
? How does this work
? Could other groups
be recognized as nations? And what about those separatists
? Looks like they already want their own hockey team
Lors du Total Crape III, vous verrez:
Des danceurs! De belles coiffures! Une madame qui mange de la terre! Stef Carse! Et beaucoup plus... [NSFW]
seems to be Quebec's version of The Onion with a strong political bent. There are many excellent political cartoons
covering the sponsorship scandal
and other issues.
Movie posters of your favourite politician: Jeancula
, The Godfather
, Stephen Harper
, Jack Layton as Canada Man
, and Paul Martin starring in Pirate of Canada
, Paul Almighty
and The Aviator
And it's always cool to see a vamped Duceppe
British and American mefites need not feel left out, Bush
make multiple appearances.
CBC has a fine collection of newspaper cartoons
about the current election. (unfortunately they are in a flash wrapper that Firefox has trouble getting through).
He's young, telegenic, bilingual, a Harvard grad... and now André Boisclair
, the youngest person
ever elected to a seat in Quebec's National Assembly, is the new leader of the Parti Quebecois
, the nationalist -- as in Quebec nationalist
-- left-leaning party founded
to take Canada's mostly french-speaking province out
of the federation. Oh, and he's gay
. And an admitted
(former) cocaine user (although that might be a good thing
.) Oh, and, according to the polls, the next Premier Ministre of Quebec.
a 13+ link whistlestop glance at something from all the provinces and territories...Alberta
, British Columbia
, New Brunswick
, Nova Scotia
. Not to mention the talk about
It's only a matter of time
before Canada's last bastion of smoke-filled cafes frequented by tortured artists succumbs to the trend sweeping the nation
, and the world
. The real question is: do they care about our health
, or are they trying to stop a conspiracy?
As long as they don't ban poutine
, I think we'll be okay.
label-mates with Morrissey
), releasing a pair of on-line only
live CDs, cheesing off
a pizza chain, and getting its back catalog
is developing software with InQuest Technologies
that will tie together the band's official web site
, the 24/7 Ween Radio
broadcast, a message board, chat rooms and the ability to trade live concert mp3s without being confused
with The Gourds
(just try searching for "Gin & Juice"
on your favourite peer-to-peer program). The band hopes to have the program bundled with it's new release quebec
(yes, with a small q
) on August 5th.
This year three first rate Canadian painters have passed away: Kazuo Nakamura (b.1926)
, was a member of the Painters 11 (flash site, doesn't seem to be working right now, short articles here, and here)
. Jean-Paul Riopelle (b. 1923)
was a member of Les Automatistes
whose Le Refus Global
helped to completely reshape Quebec culture. Riopelle passed away last March. Finally, Michael Forster (b.1907?)
was a WWII vet and a war artist
. He passed away in July.
Do you, Adam, take this man Steve, to be your lawfully wedded husband ... "... a panel of Ontario judges ordered Parliament to broaden its definition of marriage to include gay men and women, the first decision of its kind in Canada. "
Rulings on cases in BC and Quebec to follow.
Good news for the Canadian Tourist industry, at any rate. So far the only heartbreak in all this is the utter lack of Crate and Barrel, Williams Sonoma, and Pottery Barn stores in Canada for these people to register at.
Quake hits northeastern US and Canada
The Irish Times reports that an earthquake measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale rocked southern Quebec and Ontario today, as well as parts of the northeastern United States.
Did any MeFi'ers feel it?