For the economy, management, taxes, I am not worried. Whether Denis Coderre or Valérie Plante wins this Sunday, Montreal will be properly managed, and we will also be frustrated in four years by the number of orange cones and potholes. The modernization of the city, its greening, the covering of its urban scars will continue, whatever the choice of the voters. Their programs are rightly concerned with strengthening security and upstream community investment in an attempt to prevent delinquent careers. The two candidates are also making housing their priority, with different formulas, but the same ambition. My concern is elsewhere. Linguistics and identity. Will Montreal tomorrow be a large inclusive French-speaking Quebec city or a large bilingual multicultural city on the way to the predominance of English? I would like to be able to detect, in our two main candidates, a hero or a heroine of these fights. There are not any. Since it is necessary to choose, it is necessary to scratch in the decisions, texts, programs and declarations to count the points. Demerit points.
It is to Denis Coderre that we owe the absurd decision to assert that Montreal is usurping unceded Mohawk territory. In defiance of the opinion of historians, he imposed a concept that sows discord. Plante does not dissociate himself from it.
It is to Valérie Plante that we owe the appointment of an anti-racist commissioner, Bochra Manaï, whose writings demonstrate an unspeakable intolerance towards those who do not share her ideas. Among others: the fact that in his opinion any criticism of Islam is racism.
Plante and Coderre, obviously – and Plante more systematically than Coderre – adhere to the idea that systemic racism cuts across all municipal institutions and is the only analytical grid capable of diagnosing inequalities, and therefore of defining solutions. They are both participants in the shift from a universal progressivism, fighting against poverty and the exclusion of all, to a racialist approach, tackling social problems according to skin color rather than economic conditions. Too bad for poor whites.
So far demerit points are also distributed.
The majority of the city’s citizens are in favor of the measures proposed in recent years to introduce stronger secularism. Unfortunately, none of their mayoral candidates have been in tune with them.
At the time of the charter of values, Denis Coderre, then mayor, had wanted it not to apply to his city and had hinted that he would oppose its application. At the time of the Couillard government’s proposal to ban services to people whose faces are covered, the first reaction of Valérie Plante, then a candidate, was favorable. Under the pressure of the wing woke of her party, she whirled around. When Bill 21 was introduced, the mayor expressed her opposition, but said the law would be applied in Montreal. On this point, Valérie Plante demerits slightly less than Denis Coderre.
French, yes, if it doesn’t bother anyone!
Plante and Coderre used Balarama Holness as a foil during the campaign. By refusing his proposal for a bilingual city, the two leaders were able to present themselves as defenders of French.
They even said they were in favor of Bill 96. Yes, but. There is this provision in the law that would oblige the city to provide all of its services, including oral, in French only, except to members of the historic English-speaking minority, English-speaking Aboriginals and immigrants during the first six months of their stay. presence. There are obviously exceptions for health and safety.
For non-emergencies, this mechanism would create a real inconvenience for those like, say, Air Canada CEO Michael Rousseau, attempting to live entirely in English in the city. A binding mechanism that would simply say: learn French.
Plante and Coderre do not want it. For Coderre, the city must provide services in their language to all those who wish “in English, Creole and Italian”, he said. Without making the list of languages to accommodate, Valérie Plante told CJAD that she wanted to provide services in their languages ”to anglophones and allophones”.
A draw – I mean, a sucker – between the two? Plante is saved by the text of the memoir she presented to the National Assembly – and which contradicts her campaign statements. It affirms that it is not opposed to the principle of services in French only, but requests a longer implementation period and clarifications on its applicability. How to know if the anglophone who calls meets the criteria of the historical minority? The question is a good one, I have been asking it myself for 25 years.
Plante also forced all of its boroughs to obtain a francization certificate, which must have been no easy feat in certain sectors. She had the guts to say that she preferred Bonjour to Bonjour-Hi. Coderre has not commented.
In short, on these questions, none is completely trustworthy. But I diagnose Coderre with a distressing linguistic immobility. At Plante, an evolution, cautious and hesitant, in a good way. So, on points, I vote and call for Valérie Plante to vote.
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