Thursday, October 12, 2017

Montreal Mayor Coderre Rewrites History

Watching Montreal's mayor wax poetic over the new Montreal flag that now includes a reference to the native contribution to the establishment and development of Montreal should have citizens asking if the good mayor is completely off his rocker.

But before we get into it, let's start with his latest fantasy, the purported attempt by Montreal to lure Amazon to open it's second major office and distribution centre in Montreal, a possibility about as likely as Donald Trump opening a second White House in Montreal.
Other fantasies include the Mayor's assertion that he would impose a tax on  Netflix, something completely out of his purview.

I'm not sure if Denis Coderre is playing with a full deck or is dastardly clever in telling Montrealers that there is a chance Amazon will choose Quebec for a distribution centre when just about every national and international retailer has decided to service its Quebec retail locations from nearby Ontario.
Taxes, language and labour laws, red tape, higher salaries and militant unionism have retailers running for the hills, or in this case, the Ontario border and with good reason. What sane company would make the decision to put its distribution centre, the heart of company operations, in such an inhospitable environment.

Instead of attracting distribution and manufacturing centres, Montreal and Quebec are bleeding jobs not only to Mexico but even to the USA, as in the case of Electrolux which moved it's factory to Memphis, Tennessee, taking over a thousand jobs with them. Old Dutch closed its ageing potato chip plant in Lachine and will service Quebec through its New Brunswick plant which was, unlike the Quebec facility, recently modernized.

Walmart has long serviced it's Quebec store from Cornwall and has acquired a second distribution centre in that city, the former Target distribution centre which also serviced its Quebec stores from there during its short run in Quebec.
Canadian Tire distributes into Quebec from its facility in Brampton Ontario, while Home Depot services Quebec through its Ontario distribution centre in Vaughn, Ontario.
Loblaws is also rumoured to be in the process of moving the Montreal distribution centre it inherited from Provigo to Cornwall as well.
Hudson's Bay has built a national state of the art ultra-modern robotized e-commerce distribution centre in Scarborough, Ontario to fulfil orders across Canada, including Quebec.
Lowe's hardware stores which recently took over the Quebec-based Rona hardware chain made the political promise to keep the Rona distribution centre in Boucherville, but like Air Canada's "Montreal' head office, it will probably take a few years for everything to migrate over to Ontario, in this case, to the state-of-the-art facility in Milton, Ontario.

At any rate, our clueless idiot mayor made another empty grand gesture in adding a Native symbol to the City of Montreal flag.
"Indigenous Peoples have made important contributions to Montréal’s history, development, economy and culture."
There are many historical myths, like the untrue fact that Nero fiddled while Rome burned or that Marie Antoinette uttered that famous first troll "let them eat cake!"
Isaac Newton was never hit in the head by a falling apple and Napoleon wasn't particularly short.
So too is the myth that Indians contributed significantly or in fact positively to the founding or development of Ville Marie which developed into the City of Montreal.
Sometimes, history is a bitch.

Throughout the latter half of the 17th century, the Iroquois tribes and their English allies fought a bloody and vicious campaign against the French and their allies, the Hurons and Algonquians.
In fact, the symbol chosen to be on the Montreal flag is the Iroquoian white pine which makes absolutely no sense because it was the Iroquois who were mortal enemies of the French and the colony that developed into Montreal. Supported by the English, they savagely attacked the fledgeling French colony for more than fifty years trying to wrest away control of the fur trade.
Perhaps the most important attack occurred in 1689 when Mohawks (part of the Iroquois Confederacy) attacked the 375 person colony of Lachine killing many.
"The Lachine massacre, part of the Beaver Wars, occurred when 1,500 Mohawk warriors attacked by surprise the small, 375-inhabitant, settlement of Lachine, New France, at the lower end of Montreal Island on the morning of August 5, 1689. The attack was precipitated by growing Iroquois dissatisfaction with the increased French incursions into their territory, and was encouraged by the settlers of New England as a way to leverage power against New France during King William's War."
"Surviving prisoners of the Lachine massacre reported that 48 of their colleagues were tortured, burned and eaten shortly after being taken captive." Wikipedia
Now I'm not choosing sides, it was a mercantile war fought over fur and both sides were particularly cruel with both sides killing civilians, including women and children, as was the bloody norm in the conduct of war at that time.
But to infer that natives had a lot of positive influence on the development of Montreal is pure unadulterated fantasy.
The natives who survive today around Montreal in Chateauguay and Two Mountains are the Mohawks, sworn historical enemies of the French and that by the way, is why they speak English and still remain hostile to the French majority.

The native presence in Montreal and its ancestral predecessor was always negligible and remains so today. Less than half of one percent of Montreal is native and this number represents a historical high.
Those surviving Mohawks who live on reservations in Oka and Chateauguay are the descendants of those natives who fought tooth and nail against New France.
I am in no way knocking the Natives, they and the white allies fought a protracted and bloody war over fur, that's all.

There's no doubt that the Natives were unfortunate victims of the colonizers and contact with the Europeans settlers, be they English, French or Dutch was disastrous.
Not only were their numbers decimated by over 60% by disease imported from Europe, the juggernaut of European expansion left Natives on the losing end of every single treaty that they were coerced to accept. In fact, part of the Great Peace Treaty of Montreal in 1701 was the acceptance by the Natives of Jesuit priests and their forced conversion.
Nope, the treatment of Natives over the centuries hasn't been kind, and time hasn't been generous to them. Today natives find themselves embattled and embittered, stuck in poverty and indolence. Representing 4% of the Canadian population, natives represent 25% of the federal prison population. Of Canada's female federal prison population, 40% are native.
It's a sad state of affairs and one can understand the guilt most Canadians feel over a most unfortunate situation, but the answer is not in the Liberal program of throwing resources down the money pit of the reservation system. There needs to be a fresh approach, but that is for another post.

Notwithstanding, including an aboriginal symbol on the flag of Montreal out of guilt, creating the myth that Natives made a significant contribution to the city is pure fantasy that belittles the contributions of the real founding elements, the French, English, Irish and Scots.

But hey, our mayor already is in fantasy land.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Netflix... Quebec Demands English Pay Their Bills

All the anger and bluster coming out of Quebec over the federal government's 'deal' with Netflix that allows the American media giant to avoid paying the GST and PST taxes is really just a smokescreen over frustration that Netflix Canada doesn't have a French version with zero plans to provide French programming in the future.
In fact, the way Netflix operates is a complete anathema to French culture defenders. While the content is almost all English, subtitles are provided in the French language and Francophones can choose and load English content via a French interface.

The tax complaint is a false flag, and listening to Quebecers whine that Netflix doesn't collect the PST and GST taxes belies the fact that it won't be Netflix paying, but consumers.
Only in Quebec can consumers demand that taxes be applied and since Netflix hasn't been ordered to collect these taxes, perhaps the Quebec government can send a letter to subscribers asking them to pony up the provincial sales tax voluntarily, since so many have publicly complained that they want to pay.
How's that for stupidity!
No, the real bugbear is that Netflix cracked the entrenched media monopoly that has English Canadians paying hundreds of millions of dollars to subsidize French programming.

Quebec language and culture hawks are fuming that Netflix doesn't pay into the Canada Media Fund, the $360 million slush fund used to finance Canadian media content.
The fund is used to finance TV shows made in Canada and is split into English, French and Aboriginal programming.
The French side receives almost half the funding that the English side does, but with 22% of the Canadian population, paying less than 20% of the taxes, it means that English taxpayers are overpaying for French content to the tune of $60 million a year.
The situation is even more striking at the CBC where the billion dollar budget is split 60%-40%, meaning that out of Radio-Canada's $400 million budget, English Canadians are contributing $200 million extra to fund the French language network.
All this is viewed as completely fair in Quebec, some even arguing that the split should be fifty/fifty, in order to provide Francophones with equal quality programming, regardless of who pays for it.

The fact that Netflix is English irks French language and cultural defenders to no end and the fact that Quebec can't force Netflix to produce French content is viewed as giving English Canadians an unfair content advantage.
And so the announcement that Netflix will invest $500 million in "Canadian" content infuriates Quebec politicians because that investment will produce English language programming that can be viewed across the world.
The idea that Netflix would be forced to produce French language content made in Quebec is laughable because the shows could be viewed only in the minuscule Franco-Canadian market in the original Quebecois French. Even viewers in France would probably watch those shows with subtitles because like Haitian Creole, Quebec French is particularly difficult and hard on the French ear.
I remember a reporter in Paris telling Eugenie Bouchard that her spoken French with a distinctly Anglo-Canadian accent was much more pleasing as opposed to the perceived harsh Quebecois French. Ouch, that's gotta hurt!

At any rate, if the French world needs subtitles to understand Quebecois content, then the content may as well be provided in English with French sub-titles  The idea floated by Quebec politicians that Netflix should be forced to produce Quebecois French content is based on the tried and true Canadian model of having 'les autres' pay for Quebec French content, something Netflix is having none of.
Such is the fantasy world of French language culture and language defenders who believe that it is the place of English Canadians and American networks to subsidize at a loss, Quebec French content.

And so the Quebec government is declaring war on Netflix much in the same way it did with Uber, attempting to impose ridiculous regulation in the hope that Netflix will fold just as Uber is in the process of doing.

It remains to be seen if Uber actually leaves Quebec because of the regulatory onslaught. If so we will be left with a rotten taxi industry that refuses to modernize because to do so would destroy their 'cash' business where practically every single taxi driver in Quebec underpays his or her taxes, by failing to declare cash fares.
This while the entrenched taxi scofflaw industry complains about Uber not paying their fair share of taxes, prompting the Quebec revenue department to raid Uber's Quebec office in search of under-declarations.

But Netflix is not Uber, it is vastly richer and more powerful, with unlimited financial resources that could tie up Quebec in protracted legal procedures that would last a decade.

The Canadian government's sweetheart deal with Netflix makes sense given the fact that Canada is in sensitive negotiations with the United States over NAFTA and where access to the Canadian market by American media giants can become a thorny issue.
Let us remember the furor put up by entrenched Canadian media giants who bound together to force the government to abandon a proposed bandwidth sale to Verizon, fearing the threat that the American giant would begin operations in Canada.

This 'bigger' picture means nothing to Quebec, its legislature angrily passing a unanimous motion demanding Netflix collect the Quebec provincial sales tax, denoting Quebec's rage over Netflix disregard to Quebec sensitivities.
This united outrage by Quebec politicians over sales tax is comical in that Netflix revenues in Quebec are not that significant. Of the estimated 5 million Canadian Netflix subscribers, it is estimated that only about 500,000 are located in Quebec paying an estimated $60 million dollars a year in subscription fees. Applying the provincial sales tax would bring in a whopping $6 million dollars, a pittance, which would contribute less than one thousand of one percent of the annual Quebec budget.

The self-righteous blather about 'fairness' and 'level playing fields' spouted by Quebec politicians and media scions like Pierre-Karl Péladeau would be laughable if not so sad.
Quebec has forever lobbied for and defended its right to lop-sided subsidies and special treatment and the very last thing they would want is a level playing field.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Why Quebec Hates Netflix

Last week Pierre-Karl Péladeau unleashed a blistering attack on Netflix complaining that the American giant doesn't play by 'Quebec' rules. Hilariously, he complained that the Internet service doesn't collect sales tax robbing the Quebec and Canadian government of valuable revenue.
"Everybody should be treated the same way. We're all paying our taxes. All services and goods sold in Canada are taxed. Why would you have exceptions?"
First of all, not all services and goods in Canada are taxed, but that is hardly the point.
Péladeau wasn't acting like a politician protecting the interests of citizens, but rather a private businessman trying to protect his turf. Do any of you believe he cares about taxes collected, or rather the fact that not collecting taxes on Netflix makes the product more accessible. He also whined over the fact that Netflix doesn't pay into the $350 million dollar media fund that is funded by a tax on Canadian media. As is the case in most subsidy programs run by Ottawa, francophones benefit over and above the proportion that numbers would suggest. With 22% of the Canadian population, French productions account for 33% of the fund's spending, a 50% overreach.

But all this is crocodile tears, the real fly in the ointment for the Quebec government and French language militants, in particular, is the perceived pernicious influence Netflix is having in Quebec and the fact that the Quebec government cannot regulate its content.
Quebec is the champion regulator, using its power to control industry through a myriad of bureaucratic rules and red tape, meant to control business in order to protect its turf and direct development or in many cases, curtail development and innovation as in the case of Uber. Quebec followed its tried and true method of stifling outside innovation by squeezing Uber through a bureaucratic nightmare to the point that it just gave up and announced that it is quitting Quebec, much to the glee of the entrenched powers that be and a taxi industry that just couldn't compete.

At any rate, the real problem for Quebec with Netflix is not taxes or contributions to media funds, it is that the service is available in English only and that Quebec cannot impose Bill 101, content rules or any other regulation at all.
One would think that its influence amongst francophone Quebec viewers would be minimal given its programming is overwhelmingly in English, but incredibly that isn't the case.
While Netflix has penetrated about 40% of English Canadian homes, it has also become popular in about 20% of francophone homes, an incredible number that is growing.

When I first heard the number I was skeptical, because watching television and movies in another language doesn't just require bilingualism, but a high level of bilingualism and although about 45% of francophone Quebecers consider themselves bilingual, ordering breakfast in English doesn't require the level of comprehension that watching a show in English does.

I asked some of my francophone friends about Netflix and had my eyes opened as to why so many francophones, even those without good English are subscribing.

First, the interface that allows you to maneuver through the available programming is offered in multiple languages, including French, so no English is not required to find your programming.

Second is the fact that French subtitles are furnished (as well as other languages) and while not perfect, it allows those without the necessary language skills to enjoy the latest original programming that is unavailable in the local French media. It is the only way francophones can stay current with the newest episodes of House of Cards, Ozark, Orange is the New Black, Stranger Things, etc. etc.

All this has Quebec language militants seeing red because for too long Quebec francophones were prisoners to the likes of local media that produce original French-language programming and Quebec versions of American game shows. More importantly, local French media controlled all the dubbed versions of American television series.

I myself have been watching a Russian and Chinese series on Netflix and after eight or nine shows have picked up a bit of Russian.
More importantly is the transfer of culture. Watching the Russian television series  "The Sniffer"  exposed me to modern life in Russia. The same goes for a Chinese program called "When a Snail Falls in Love" and the Mexican series called "Ingobernable."

Years ago, francophone teens were exposed to English via video games offered exclusively in English, something that the Quebec government shut down quickly, forcing producers to offer French versions, something they cannot do with Netflix, much to their consternation.
And so Netflix is probably contributing more to the teaching of English to Quebec francophones than any private language school or public school teaching English as a second language. As francophones consume English programming, they become more and more interested in a world outside Quebec and that dear friends is what is scaring the crap out of language militants who have always desired to keep Quebec francophones 'barefoot and pregnant' or in other words, prisoners of language and culture.

Now in a brilliant move, Netflix announced that it will be spending half a billion dollars on Canadian produced content over the next few years, content that will be of the highest quality, since it will be shown across the entire Netflix network, unlike the crapola produced by the Canada Media Fund which is mired in mediocrity because it provides basically free money that has to be spent.

Of course, the bugbear in all this is that the Canadian content Netflix will be produced exclusively in English, providing stories and themes across the English experience, not something that is easy to swallow amongst the powers that be and language nationalists.

And so Netflix is the latest enemy of Quebec bureaucrats and language militants with seemingly no solution to Quebec's "Netflix problem." since Ottawa has already indicated that it will not attack Netflix over taxes and seems eminently satisfied with Netflix's announcement of Canadian content.

Emboldened by its victory over Uber, Quebec politicians are eager to take on Netflix but are sadly coming to the realization that they are outgunned and outsmarted.
While the powers that be are enraged that they are helpless to defeat Netflix, Quebec francophones are rushing to exploit their new-found liberation and that is a good thing.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Jagmeet Singh - Manna from Heaven for Bloc Quebecois

Turban and Jazz hands, not a winning combo in Quebec!
The idiot leader of the Bloc Quebecois Martine Ouellet is crossing her fingers hoping and praying that the tactically-challenged NDP go ahead and elect Jagmeet Singh as their new leader.

Now given Singh's high level of support in the party, especially the old guard, the possibility of him becoming leader has me believing that the NDP did some serious polling which indicates that his religion and turban don't adversely affect his chances with NDP inclined voters.
That is everywhere but Quebec, where his religion and his turban represent a burden that the party cannot support.
Already Ouellet is staking out her position that anybody with serious religious convictions is unfit to lead Quebec. Really.
According to her;
"[Singh] says he supports the separation of church and state, but he presents the complete opposite," Ouellet said, in French. "He says he has progressive values, but what he is showcasing are religious values ...
"What we are learning is that after having seen, I'd say, the religious right, there seems to be a rise of the religious left."
When asked if Singh's turban promoted his religion, the Bloc leader said that she did not have a problem with his turban, but rather his religious values.
This sort of political argument, that those who hold deep religious values are unfitting to serve would draw gasps across Canada, but not in Quebec where religious intolerance reigns supreme.
While most of the NDP powers that be don't seem overly concerned with Singh and his turban, not so for Quebec MP's.
"Quebec MP Pierre Nantel declared that Singh and his “conspicuous religious symbols” would not fly with Quebec voters. “It has been shown that people do not want to see conspicuous religious symbols; they are not believed to be compatible with power, with authority,” Nantel told Radio-Canada."
Religion's precipitous fall grace among Quebec Francophones is nothing less than stunning, with weekly attendance at Catholic Church falling from 88% back in the sixties to around 5% today, and where French Catholic churches might very well go the way of the dodo as the older generation dies out.
Among those born to Catholic parents, baptisms have fallen to about 40% and the surprising aspect to all this is the utter disdain that organized religion has fallen into in Quebec.
There's no doubt that Bill 62 will soon pass into law in some form or another, making face coverings illegal, when giving or receiving state services.
The watered-down version of the infamous "Charter of Values" seems to have majority support in the National Assembly as well as widespread support from the public.

The anti-religion climate in Quebec is now coming to a boil from the slow simmer that existed over the last few years and electing the turban-clad Jagmeet Singh as NDP leader would be the death kneel for the party's fortunes in Quebec.
And so the sixteen NDP sitting MPs are in deep trouble and most would be wiped out if a general election would be held with Jagmeet Singh as leader.
Of the sixteen, it is likely that only Guy Caron, Alexandre Boulerice and surprisingly, ex-Ottawa bartender Ruth Ellen Brosseau would survive an election led by Jagmeet Singh.

The soft nationalists who voted in the orange wave for Jack Layton were never solidly NDP adherents and last election saw the party's fortune's crumble to 16 seats from 59 seats after the party came out against any proposed ban or restriction on religious garb.

While the other candidates for the NDP leadership have put some water in their wine concerning Quebec's apparent desire to restrict religious garb by taking the cowardly position that while they disagree with Bill 62, it is a decision best left up to Quebec voters, not so Mr Singh;
"Singh told the Star that he unequivocally opposes Quebec’s Bill 62, and predicted that, if passed, it would be found to contravene the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as Quebec’s own human rights law.
For Quebecers, them's are fighting words...

So the question is as to how many more will abandon the NDP and where these disaffected voters will park their votes come next election.
Clearly, they will go to the Bloc or to the Liberals, but what the split will be is debatable.

I'm betting that of the 13 seats that the NDP would lose with Jagmeet Singh at the helm, the bulk will go to the Bloc and at least for entertainment's sake we can look forward to electing another blithering idiot leader Martine Ouellet to Parliament.

For Conservatives, nothing could be better than the rise of the Bloc once again.
The 20 or 25 members would continue the fine tradition of carping at federalists while contributing and accomplishing absolutely nothing.
Martine Ouellet will parade around Ottawa pompously like the oblivious doufus who leaves the Parliamentary rest room trailing toilet paper out of her skirt, much to the hoots and cackles of onlookers.
While the election of Jagmeet Singh will spell trouble for the party in Quebec, it may mean a rebirth of support across the country with progressives who feel betrayed by Trudeau's empty promises and policy reversals. Mr. Singh may be seen as a bright alternative, someone who can represent the left with unabashed honesty and conviction and that may seriously hurt Trudeau outside of Quebec.

It can all play out nicely and so like Martine Ouellet, I too am crossing my fingers....

Monday, September 11, 2017

English CEGEP's Squeezing Out Anglos

PQ mantra "Nope, we don't need English to  find a job"
Quebec's CEGEP situation has evolved somewhat bizarrely as demand for placement in the few English language CEGEPs in the province has rocketed with demand by Francophones and ethnics graduating from Francophone high schools rising each year, putting a strain on resources and limiting Anglophone enrolment as standards rise.
Unlike French CEGEPs which accept any and all who apply, English CEGEPs have their enrolment capped, with no government, Liberal or separatist daring to increase capacity.
"Quebec City’s only English-language CEGEP has had to turn away hundreds of students due to jam-packed registration.
“A lot of students, around 400 students,” said CEGEP Champlain St. Lawrence campus director Edward Berryman. “We had to say no to them because we’re simply at the maximum capacity.”
Among the college’s students, 75 per cent are graduates from Francophone high schools, 15 per cent are from Anglophone schools and the rest have a mother tongue that is neither English nor French." Link
Admission standards for French CEGEPS
While entry standards for French CEGEPs are pathetically low, where you can sometimes get in without graduating high school, the grades required for entry in English CEGEP are so high (and getting higher) that it is in effect turning them into elite schools.

The inequity in application standards between English and French CEGEPs is stunning and so the English CEGEPs are attracting the best of the best students regardless of language background.

This has the perverse effect of limiting access to Anglo students who may have very good grades, but not good enough to compete with elite francophones and ethnics who opt for obvious reasons to go the English CEGEP route.

Holding the position, as does the academic elite in the English CEGEP system that the schools should be open to everyone does a disservice to the Anglophone community as long as enrollment is limited.

Let us look at the numbers.
Quebec CEGEPSs, both English and French serve 177,000 students of which 27,000 attend school in one of the five English CEGEPs.
(By the way, and not germane to this discussion, but interesting in and of itself is the fact that women make up 58% of the students.)
The 27,000 places in English CEGEPs represents 15% of all CEGEP places in Quebec, which seems rather generous when one considers that Anglophones (defined by those who attended English high school) make up  but 8% of the Quebec population.
But the hic is that half the places in these English CEGEPs are occupied by Francophones and Ethnics who graduated French high school, leaving about 8% of the total places for the 8% anglophones in the province which would seem reasonable, but alas, is not.
Anglophones choose to attend post-secondary education at a rate almost 30-50% higher than their francophone counterparts, so the strain is obvious.
And so for some programs, like science at John Abbot College, applicants won't even be considered without an 80%+ overall average, a hefty burden that only elite students can muster.

Now the English CEGEPs have a gentleman's agreement with the Education department not to encourage Francophones and Ethnics to apply to their schools, so there is no advertising or other encouragement, but they  still face an onslaught of applications.

With the Liberal government committed to freezing enrolment in English CEGEPs, it makes for a difficult situation for Anglo students with good but not phenomenal grades.

And so that takes us to the Parti Quebecois policy convention that wrapped up today and where the subject of access to English CEGEP was hotly debated with the militants demanding that the rules of Bill 101 be applied, limiting Francophones and Ethnics to French CEGEPs.
This idea was fought back by the party elite because they feared the backlash from the over 63% of francophones that back open access.
And so the compromise was offered whereby funding to English CEGEPs would be cut back to reflect the 8% reality of the English minority.

Now I'm surprised that while the reaction in the English media was negative, nobody so far has pointed out the obvious. If funding is cut, but open access maintained, it would mean that fewer students would be admitted, but still include Francophones and ethnics. This would drive down the number of Anglophones allowed to attend English CEGEPs!
Perhaps it would mean that access would require a scholastic average of over 90%!

Now language militants continue to believe that an English CEGEP education automatically leads to language transfers by Francophones assimilating into the English community. It assumes that those who grew up in a French home and went to French school until high school graduation would magically transform themselves into Anglophones by virtue of a two or three year English CEGEP experience. Pedalling this 'Chicken Little' mantra that the sky will fall is stock in trade for desperate losers trying to hold back ambitious and talented young francophones and ethnics.

Language militants have even made a more pernicious argument, that 'mixing' of the communities in CEGEP will lead to more mixed marriages and coupling, thus diluting the precious 'de souche' stock, an idea that just doesn't border on racism, but clearly defines it.
Racism aside, it isn't even true. When English/French or Ethnic/French couples get together, in two-thirds of those cases, the children attend French school.

Now the PQ came up with the comical idea of French CEGEPs offering more courses in English thus allowing for students to learn English and maintain their French heritage.
It's a good idea in theory, but one that could never happen.

I could imagine the friction between outraged student language militants opposing such an idea in their schools as well as the teachers who are largely separatists.
Offering English courses in French CEGEPs would mean hiring English language professors and getting rid of an equal amount of French language professors, something the union would never allow.

And finally, I could only imagine English classes where teachers greeted students to their English class with this scrawled on the blackboard.

Elite French students seek entry into English CEGEPs not only because they want to hone up their English, but also to soak up the atmosphere and help prepare them for living in a world that uses English as the lingua franca. They seek out a school that has the higher academic standards that generates a student body commiserate with their own academic success, something French CEGEPs could never offer.
And that folks, is the sad truth.