It goes without saying that I don't want the Parti Québécois (PQ) in power at all, for more reasons than I have time to list this afternoon. But finance minister Nicolas Marceau: He needs to get the boot, urgently. Yesterday.
This afternoon, Marceau announced that his earlier projection of a balanced budget would be slightly off: By $2.5-billion! And that's an optimistic estimate! They'll still have to scrounge up another $400-million for next year's budget (reminder: A government deficit is calculated annually - the shortfall is just for this fiscal year).
It's underrated how unqualified Marceau is to be finance minister. He has a doctorate in economics - that's nice. I'm sure he did very well in case competitions. But his "real world" experience in finance ends, it seems, with a job at The Co-operators as an internal auditor.
I know a few auditors; I don't mean to offend them, ...
I tend to avoid LCN's "Francement Martineau" with Richard Martineau, also a Journal de Montréal columnist, but I was caught up on Twitter earlier this afternoon.
Today, Martineau decided to wear a blue burqa on his show. Why? To make a point about...something. Who cares? His Quebecor colleague, Ezra Levant, pulled the same stunt recently with a niqab.
The Gazette's Michelle Richardson asked if it was the "equivalent of Blackface." There are certainly paralells to be made. It mocks an identifiable group of people, and we have words to describe those who do that. Bad words.
Although I am opposed to all face coverings in public, as I wrote in my last blog, I am also opposed to shaming and mocking minorities into accepting what is said to be Quebec "values." This was ...
I have been and continue to be staunchly opposed to the PQ's Charter of Values. As I write this week in The National Post, it goes too far in most areas by harping on aesthetics instead of the root causes of ethnic alienation. But in some respects, the Charter doesn't go far enough.
This was highlighted by a controversy over Verdun daycare workers in niqabs walking around town with the children under their care. Many of the children's parents supported the women, who uncover their faces in private and are, by all accounts, good childcare providers. That's great to hear. There's no reason to panic. I wouldn't advocate imposing a ban based on one photo taken by some woman who was offended at the sight of a niqab. I am, however, opposed to the wearing of any face mask in public, and that includes niqabs, burqas and, to a lesser extent, ...
I love when debate opponents make my arguments for me. It's so much easier.
In today's Journal de Montréal, columnist Mathieu Bock-Coté argues that it's unfair to label pro-Charter of Values supporters as "Islamophobes." I completely agree.
I've always been uncomfortable with Islamophobia as a concept. As Bock-Coté wrote, it makes any criticism of Islam or its institutions very difficult because it can be interpreted as inherently anti-Muslim. I very rarely use "anti-Semitism" as well - first, it implies that one's hate is specific only to Jews and second, Arabs are Semites too, so it can get confusing. Racism is largely circumstantial, the result of ignorance and isolation, and shouldn't be culturally-specific. If you hate Jews today, you could hate Muslims tomorrow. It all depends on who you think is ruining your society at any given moment and who it's convenient for you to scapegoat.
Which brings me to another ...