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Printed 2014/09/01 07:50AM

Weeding Out Discrimination in the Workplace – A Note to Government Institutions in Quebec, and ex-Premier Bernard Landry

By Hugo Shebbeare, 2009/03/15

In response to former Quebec Premier Bernard Landry’s comments of this past week regarding the posting of Michael Sabia as head of the largest institutionalised pension fund in Canada – LaCaisse.com :

To the Right Honourable Gentleman:

You state that it is a ‘provocation’ to have what you label as an ‘Anglophone’ assume the head of the Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec (CDP).  I do not subscribe to this point of view simply because it is none other than Psychological Harassment ( which is, by the way, illegal under QC law since 2004 in the workplace) of a Racial Nature aimed at keeping those who have the Québécois accent, or most frequently share the same ethnicity, in privileged positions within provincial Government Institutions, and even Federal Government institutions within the province. So nice to hear such Professorly ranting (repetitively for over ten years now), whilst it is funny that you are at UQAM all nice and secure, while the economic tsunami hits and the minorities get les mietes.  To the already miniscule Anglophone workers within the Government workforce (a revolutionary condition isn't it - taxation without representation, think we didn't notice?), I get the impression that, according to the University of Toronto, your verbal attacks are considered Criminal Harassment since you are clearly affecting the primary need for security of those around you from the safety of the University you are working in (hmm, sounds like high-handedness - pray tell what entitlement do you have to be so judgemental on minorities you are programmed to disdain: as if it is my fault your code is buggy and incorrigably Clanniste).  It is as if you are not mature enough to set aside your obvious Anglophobia to see how the wake your vocal actions stoke the fire of ethnic cleansing that has been imposed on the last pro-Federalist and pro-Canadian generation ( starting circa mid 70s ) in consequence of the Quiet Revolution, please stop trying to do it to our generation ( many of us don't like Harper either, so don't squeeze us any more than the Crisis is already doing tyvm ) – minorities do not want your, 'if you don’t like it, leave' attitude anymore.  Your insinuation that our human rights are okay to be withheld, in this instance with Sabia as Head of the CDP having a fair chance at the job (merci Olivier pour ce lien, but there are no opposing views, only six very concerned people whingeing unfortunately and nothing about equal opportunity - the Clan's detestable knee-jerk reaction perhaps) - is justified by your link to the ethnic majority of today’s Quebec.  Since your faction are victims of the majority of Canada, it's okay to perform even worse reverse discrimination on a minority that has lived here for centuries?

Furthermore, it excludes minorities or those recently arrived to Quebec of a reasonable chance of stability – I have had a handful of friends who have had to leave the province in the past ten years due to this exclusionist and insular attitude and I will no longer stand for it since being a complaca-phone (locals who have given up the fight for their rights) is not in my blood, having been raised in Vancouver thankfully (out of Bill 101s brain-washing reach).  Your comments put shame on Quebec in front of the World.  I will not stand by and witness yet another fully qualified technical resource from 'outside of the Clan' be forced to leave the province, this time one of my own family.  Please note that several of my friends who are now in San Francisco, New York, Toronto, Victoria or Vancouver (et al.) were here before, I want you Sir, Mr. Landry, to apologise to them publicly admitting that we have not fixed the 'Quebec Bug’ yet because our virus scan is stuck somewhere between one or two viruses from the 'old guard' trying to make minorities feel like 'bad' Quebeckers (sounds like Orwell's Animal Farm - 'two legs good, four legs bad').  You set a very bad example for a pluralist Quebec, and UQAM's reputation is yet again weakened by your open discrimination.  Please understand, that I believe in self determination, but after two lost referendums and a semi-autonomous nation officially recognised (motion accepted in Parliament, next Constitution to be revised eventually as Charest suggested) - it’s over, get over your Anglophobia/Xenophobia, let focus now on the economy together as equals and increasing the number of entrepreneurs here!

As someone with both English and French descent (plus Scotch, Welsh, Irish, and even Scandinavian), I denounce this line of thinking, as do many Francophones.  It sends a message of intolerance to minorities (as does this Federal Minister's mistake also) and reflects the poor integration of them within Quebec society (and even when immigrants concentrate themselves, they are insulted, or better yet, called Fake Victims) – the current energetic Premier, Mr Charest, is doing us all a favor by nominating Mr. Sabia to run the institution (who by word of the Board of Directors was the most qualified by far).  I am most certain that until comments such as yours regarding who should be able to manage our retirement money are not retracted; we cannot proceed as a mature nation within Canada.  For the sake of our generation, trying to live now and not in the sixties, please apologise for this nonsensical rant, because I will not be taking this post down until you do so.  I have confirmed already with my many friends and 'long-lost brothers' like Alexandre (of whom I love living happily amongst on the Plateau) who do not condone this type of exclusion with which you continue to repetitively impress upon the minorities of Quebec - nor did René-Lévesque by the way (I heard he was pratically turning in his grave after you rubbed shoulders with the PowerCorp Brass).

Sabia is the accountant who has been called in to clean up the top of the Caisse, whose francosupremacist nationalist leaders have repetitively failed the province

Might I remind you, or perhaps you have forgotten in your extensive career, that the group that were positioned at the top of the said institution until recently, were mostly placed (even Henri-Paul Rousseau himself) during your administration of the province, and the continuous attack on the Liberal Government shows how little credibility you have (and why the PQ is crumbling as we speak, since we're still paying for the great financial damage done by your party over the twenty years). This team, mostly your team, has led the institutionalised fund manager to lose a colossal $39.8 Billion – a whopping twenty five percent of the entire pension fund itself (excluding real estate assets), and, what’s more, seven percent lower performance on average than the average across Canadian Pension Funds. Do you think this would have happened if minorities were allowed to hold executive and management positions within the ranks of the utmost of public security offered to the public – retirement security?  Had these managers simply listened to an opposing voice (or managed risk appropriately), maybe they would have not risked up to thirteen billion in asset-backed commercial paper? After having worked for eight months within the CDP, I am pretty sure it was done because people at the CDPQ simply do not listen to the rest of Canada and its institutions' recommendations to stay away from Commercial Paper investments. It's rather interesting, to see how your mate there, PQ/opposition leader Pauline Marois (Madame swear allegiance to the French Language or no entry), who's pressuring QC Finance Minister (now departed, notre chère Dame de Fer) Monique Jerome-Forget constantly about mismanagement at the CDP is literally throwing stones from a glass house of integrity.  The subsequent Parliamentary Commission has definately shed some light on how the PQ mentality's grip on this institution managing our collective retirement money - thier scapegoat being the mandate change a few years back (yeah, right, as if the mentality changes due to that!), ends up with nobody responsible ultimately - and none of the former Board forefitting any bonuses, of course. How can anyone seriously tell us that it's okay to drop the ball on this mega loss?  It's as if the press is so hypocritical to gave years of ink to the Sponsorship Scandal and the Gomery Inquiry with such a magnitude only in the Millions, while the CDPQ failure is in the tens of bilions, yet the press treats it as less important because an attack on le fédérale est plus important que notre propre retraite. This is, without a doubt to minorities in this province, the greatest hypocrisy in modern Quebec/Canadian history.

Please let Quebec move on from the post Quiet Revolution era

This retrograde maitre chez nous attitude has been embraced by the sovereigntist office bullies within QC government institutions, automatically making minorities excluded, whilst at the same time, reducing our talent pool for all-important positions that should be given by competence and not due to nepotism, political views or ethnocentrism (the latter diminishing as the years go by and the immigrants increase the population of Greater Montreal). Our pension investments are not rightfully yours to be wasted by the pro-independence militant PQ elite only ('ists' even denounced by French President Sarkozy(!) thankfully, for thier ridiculous repetitive attack on Federalists) holding onto key positions within government institutions (much like the Mafioso guys running the hospital in Denys Arcand’s great film Les Invasions Barbares).  I believe Charest has been very motivated by this reality in placing Michael Sabia, a very brave man, at the top of the organisation that still espouses this inequality for all except ‘ists’ mentality - as do you, clearly demonstrated by this dérive ethnique.  I believe Mr. Charest's goal is to weed out this most intolerant faction bolstered by years of injustice towards visible AND audible minorities (French from France are even forced out of the workplace, since they are perceived as threats to power...or simply just not part of the Clan).

I have even seen sovereignists openly denounce others in the office-place for voting anything other than for the Parti Québécois (as if everything is simplistically decided by blue or red, similar to a Rep. Vs Dem divide in the U.S.), openly discriminating and violating any sort of freedom of expression with respect political viewpoints – and goes back to what I’m discussing about these mis-aligned and completely unprofessional followers (coming out of UQAM too often) your bad example has produced. No wonder the Commission des normes du travail has got a full load of work; they’re spending much of their time trying to fight this 'bug' for the benefit of all Quebeckers, which has poisoned many government institutions – breeding contempt and ultimately, some very, very poor results with respect to our retirement funds (the first ever (?) time it's triple AAA rating was questioned, with reason, by Standard and Poor's, later confirmed as still triple AAA, thanks to the independence from the government).

Forced Departure - these actions are behind the Anglo Exodus

Hypocrisy is not something I can claim not be void of, but what I am trying to point out here is the fact the PQ philosophy of ‘change (forced Francisation), or get out’ is directly linked to why so many Immigrants, pro-Canadian Francophones and especially Anglophones have left the province, and EN MASSE at that (unless they are willing to live with devalorisation and prevention of advancement in their jobs). Former Premier Parizeau blamed the former (‘les éthniques et l'argent’) after losing the second referendum in 1995, typical scapegoating of the Parti Québécois elite. This goes back to a deeply rooted Clan mentality (not only limited to QC btw, a typical human tribal instinct) which, as I have seen first hand, rejects International Standards and International Law with respect to chosing the Language of Education (supposedly protected by the UN charter, but ignored here); often using scapegoats that in the end (e.g. overuse of the blame the Federalists card, which of course, post $13BN ABCP loss fiasco - D'Amours used), after proper and thorough analysis, holds no water.  The complacent people surrounding these bullies you’ve encouraged with your psychological harassment allow them to get away with mistreatment and outright violation of human rights of provincial minorities (when they should have been managing risk properly - note how this link was to the Gazette originally, but has been republished elsewhere. Was the Gazette bullied by the CDPQ to take it down I wonder?) – because they too, have a scapegoat (trickling down from the top) of fear of losing the French language in Québec - which I can tell you after living here for ten years, could not be farther from truth.  The only language that is being lost in this province is English: a critical door opener for Montreal to the rest of the World and Canada economically, but, again ignored by short-term thinking to gain the nationalist vote.  Why put a knife to the Lingua Franca when it is most needed to bring Quebec out of financial disaster and on the world stage? Montreal is a bilingual city (and not all four corners of the city's flag are the Fleur de Lys, remember), so stop trying to demonise the English language, you are only shooting the province collectively in the foot. Ah, right, bilingualism 'lost cause' to you perhaps, just because ('le maudit fédéraliste') Trudeau promoted it (a traitor to your gang? you demonise him because of being mixed blood, as am I?) - so the rest of Quebeckers have to give up on outside opportunities also - because you have made that decision for them? Your quasi-facist attitude is evident.

Nice Job - Francophones across Canada subject to more problems due to your 'high' integrity

Another consequence of this divide and conquer attitude: have you ever thought about the wake of your actions with respect to Francophones across Canada?  They are affected by your actions, do you understand why? Do you care or know how much damage to this exclusionism has done to the lives of our brethren (our family relationship with Norman French goes way back too, see Robert d'Ivry/Perceval) in communities across our multi-nation state? Do you think about how you are messing up their lives vis à vis their supposedly 'evil Canadian' (btw - les Anglais habitent Angleterre, here we are Canadian, very big difference) neighbours they have been living with for several hundreds of years already. 

This is partially a result of the current 'illusion tranquille' we are living through here and a backlash against globalisation at the same time perhaps. I understand that the Nation will have growing pains, but blaming minorities and denying them equal opportunity in public office for your own problems within the pure laine elite (remember forty billion lost by the boys you placed at the CDPQ again?) that have been swept under the rug by complacency and uncompetitiveness, really demonstrates why you must apologise for your disgraceful verbal violence.  Noble public service is what Sabia is doing, and he's already given up his pension plan, and proceeded to cut the board of director's compensation in half. Are these the acts of what you describe coming from a Canadian (with your obvious negative undertones), examples of a threat to the economic force of Quebec? Are you going to incessantly question his allegiance? 

What is more, why is it that we, as disdained minorities according to these ‘let’s brainwash the masses out of fear’ militant PQ goons using revisionist history and repetitive physiological harassment – why is it that we have to be given ethnic cleaning, albeit ‘soft’ but still forced departure, as a bitter bill to swallow – or worse without any apology at all, simply ‘told shut up, you fake victims’ from nasty articles by starved/ignorant/disgruntled Journal de Montreal writers such as Joseph Facal – who is supposed to be from the Pour un QC Lucide Movement?  Please tell me if there is a better way to describe such back-asswardsness?  Why not listen to Patrick Lagace, of La Presse, has already described how boring Quebec City is now that they managed to 'se debrasser des Anglos' (kick out the Anglos, who quietly left), now that you’re all secure at UQAM, is your final solution to eradicate them from Montreal too? For some of us, home to our family for several hundreds of years? Why is it that so many great minds, like graduates from McGill, take their diploma and leave - perhaps another 'wake' you did not consider due to this obvious repression.

Charest is a much better leader than you ever were for the province, learn from his success

With Premier Charest, we have some political balance between the nations and common conservative background with the PM Harper, but the damage caused by the wake of several decades of PQ-style leadership (or should I say ‘losership’) has forced us into a financially and politically asymmetrical situation – where the government has to bribe International Events back to Montreal, such as the Grand Prix (how long will this magouille continue?). My proposal is that we first have former leaders such as yourself realise the repairable damage, for lack of a better phrase, you have caused the nation in front of the eyes of the world, as well as the rest of Canada, and open your mind to English, as opposed to trying to silence and demonise those you consider ‘imposters’ within our own territory too, soundly decided on the Plains of Abraham.  The cleansing must stop, I demand you set the example and actually listen to the minorities here, otherwise, I shall request your forced retirement from UQAM with as many signatures in protest as possible.

Mr. Landry, I hope that you recognise your errors and proceed to apologise to the minorities of Quebec, considering Mr. Parizeau (CDPQ founder) left these types of comments in the past, why cannot you?  If you do not want to listen anyone non-pure laine, for whatever reason you feel justified to wash your brain with, at least listen to Pierre Jury. 

Thank you for your understanding, have a very nice retirement (soon come, and a benefit to us all). Very happy that Charest defeated you years ago. Please bear in mind that I will always do what is in the best interest of rule of law, and personal service to the sovereign (QEII) of this great confederation we call Canada. I can only hope that you at least observe the former standard and cease to repetitively harass the minorities in this province.

Hugo Shebbeare

Post Script to regular blog readers (now over 80k cumulatively between January-October 2009):

For those of you who do not know this beautiful province of Quebec, please do not assume everyone in the province is like this - trust me we are not!  By writing this, I hope to bring some change to this exclusionist/insular/backwards/isolationist mentality held by the extreme few who espouse denying minorities opportunity.  Sovereigntists are at their lowest point in popularity here in fact, and I feel the need to speak out to ensure extremism when it prevents anyone from a stable job and threatens the life of minority families here.  The goal, with respect to this type of racial harassment, is to expose the politics of fear...instead of taking advantage of the populace's current economic fears leading to this type of scapegoating at the expense of the minority. We see this too at a Federal level unfortunately, in a different way, by means of the open push towards a melting pot,

For those who may not understand the necessity of this revised posting, then I am quite repentant, but until you have had your own constitutional rights stripped away from you (by a faction controlling government institutions and critical services, and hence treats you as invisible), and have to jump through nine months of bureaucratic hoops to seek justice, you cannot expect inaction from the victim – especially if they have significant resources, technical skill and legal standing.

If I may sound like an idealist, so be it – I will always remain a positive person, and despite the impression (after ten years of observation) that the complex interdependence within Canada’s two founding nations has turned to negative interdependence (International Relations Theory, by Viotti & Kauppi, p399, 2nd ed.), I will give M. Landry the benefit of the doubt to right his wrongs – a request for ceasefire if you will, because the cleansing of minorities from ‘La Belle Province’ is real and it has to stop.


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