Search on MTL Blog

15 Smart Ideas How To Unite Francophones & Anglophones In Quebec

Suggestions to resolve language tensions from musician Jonathan Emile.
15 Smart Ideas How To Unite Francophones & Anglophones In Quebec

Photo cred - Eva Blue

In the wake of the provincial election results, with the Liberals now holding majority power, musician Jonathan Emile has some suggestions on how to better Quebec.

Specifically, creating a better bond between Francophones and Anglophones in the newly governed province.

Here's what Emile has to say on the issue, and be sure to see his previous piece on Quebec separatists.

"I’m looking forward to holding the Liberals to the fire now that they have won. Let’s not forget what a disaster the Liberals left the PQ with when they left office. I have loved ones who vote PQ, PLQ, ON & QS… I look forward to drinking wine together and figuring out how to move our society forward toward prosperity after all this divisiveness and fear based opportunism. I hope we can find a way to learn to understand each other better. Vive le Québec, vive la différence et oui je me souviens.

1. Create the world’s first “Political Oath of Office”.

Before entering into politics — politicians would have to take an oath and sign a contract much like a lawyer or a doctor. This contract would bind them to practice politics to the honest benefit of their constituents and vow to abstain from corporate or personal interest.

They would then be given a license to practice politics. If this oath is broken by excepting gifts, favoring business leaders or lying to the public to achieve political gain… They would be disbarred or lose thier license to hold political office.

2. Create a PayPal style payment processor web-platform that is the exclusive method for people to make contributions to political parties. It will be managed by Revenue Quebec.

3% of all political donations would be diverted into a fund that would go directly to anti-corruption. If you try to donate outside of this website, you can be fined up to the amount you intended to donate illicitly. If you’re honest, this should not be a problem. At all campaign funding drives, parties must use the payment processor to receive their funds. All cheques, cash and electronic fund transfers are paid to the processor (Not the party) before being issued to the party.

3. Politicians are paid too much. Freeze salaries of all members of parliament immediately — impose a 20 year moratorium on MP salary increases and make them wear a uniform.

If you ask me. A politician should not be making anymore than a high-school teacher. If they want to serve the noble cause building a better society… then fine serve. Remember though, you work for us. If a nurse has to wear a uniform, so should our officials. Why are you wearing $2000 suits while asking your bosses (the people) for a raise and to tighten our belts? Lead by example; cut spending starting with your Hugo Boss.

4. Norwegian style free education is not silly — it’s and ideal we should strive toward.

Listen… All the really cool countries are doing it. Okay in seriousness, it’s not about laziness of students… It’s about making sure Québec can be a world leader by having the best most educated thinkers and innovators.

With this said, tuition should go down and not up. Only after spending 5 years as a full-time in University or 3 years full-time in CEGEP… then you should have to pay in full tuition to attend. No CEGEP for people who hangout and fail for 7 years anymore. Get in, get it done and get on. (Of course there should be special exceptions for students with children, with learning disabilities or health issues). The question is always where do we get the money for this? Read on… I have some thoughts on that.

5. The premiere is too rich. He/She should earn. 1$ a year until the budget is balanced.

He doesn’t need the money. Tighten your belt like the rest of us M. Couillard. He’s rolling in that Saudi money. If you need some extra cash — sell your stock or other assets.

6. Raise taxes 2% for non-Quebec corporations that fail to generate jobs locally or produce locally.

If you want continued access to our market but don’t want to invest, pay a little more… I’m sure India, Brazil or China would be glad to do business with us. Since your not generating jobs or industry we won’t be losing much. The point is we need to explore being more harsh with companies that do not enhance our social fabric (this will be at the expense of consumer choice of course).

7. Prove to us that it makes economic and social sense to remain in Canada.

Listen, I love Canada, but if someone tells me I can live in a tolerant wine and cheese infused Utopia where I can find a good job and raise my kids to speak 7 languages… Then let’s do it — make it happen Liberals. Otherwise all the Liberals are doing is swinging the pendulum back from PKP to Molson. Liberals need to bring prosperity… chop chop!

8. Let’s start borrowing economic and social strategies from countries like Germany and Sweden.

Yes, we have a different social and financial makeup than these other countries — but they are doing a lot of things right. Imagine you have a neighbour that improves on his home. No shame in saying… “hey, that’s ‘neat’” and applying those changes to your home. It’s infinitely more complex than what I described, but let’s stop comparing ourselves to other provinces and countries who’s social and economic disparity is less than ours. Just cause everyone in the class is getting a C… doesn’t mean we should not aim for A+.

9. We need to invest more in computer science and clean energy with an immediate corporate carbon tax.

While we are arguing over language and corruption. This is being built in Abu Dhabi.

Hey sovereignists & federalist billionaires… How about you both chose two little towns in the obscure regions of Québec and show us what your future vision of Québec looks like. This would put Québec at the forefront of Canada and the world. Where is your Expo 67 spirit? Every-way Québec wins.

10. Impose a foreign investors fee for corporations or non-quebec residents who buy property in Québec.

Not a tax. A fee. When you have hundreds of seasonally vacant condos in Montreal or around lakes and along the fleuve… it drives up the cost of houses and the cost of living. To offset this, charge a yearly fee to non-residents (proportional to the value of their property). If they don’t like it, they can always lease a condo from a Québecois.

11. Buy local product campaign: Québec Certifier.

Print a billion stickers for products made in Québec and label them in stores and websites. Certified Québec. I’m sure PKP would fund the printing of this. It would give people the easy and clear choice of buying local. Buying local will help the economy.

12. Force all corporations to publicly list their political donations and their shareholders to a national-archive.

Access to this archive will be made public to allow political-economic transparency and effectively demonstrate who and what companies stand to benefit from legislation.

13. Create a new subdivision of revenue quebec that assigns rotating agents to audit the quarterly banking activities of Political leaders (like corporations) and their spouses during their term in office.

Come on politicians… what do you have to hide?

14. Make sure things like La Charte des Valeurs stay dead.

Political-opportunist-xenophobia veiled in faux-feminism that uses women as political chess pieces has no place in the ethos of the potential Québec nation or the Canadian nation. Please, let a woman choose which elements of her culture she’d like to express passively. We need institutions to help women who are being oppressed leave oppressive relationships regardless of culture or religion — not alienate women who may or may not already struggle silently.

15. Retroactively make Bill 78 illegal.

It’s an obvious and vile affront to democracy. Bills like this (temporary or not) should not exists in a serious democracy."

Will these suggestions unite Franocophones & Anglophones?

Jonathan Emile is a Jamaican-Canadian poet, singer, composer and cancer survivor. He garnered attention with the release of his debut EP “The Lover/Fighter Document,” which was nominated(LL) for a Grammy in 2011. In 2012, Emile collaborated with international artists Kendrick Lamar, KRS-1, Buckshot, and Murs for his anticipated debut LP. In 2013, he delivered a critically acclaimed performance in the Broadway musical production of the “Ain’t Misbehavin” in Montréal and toured Canada, England & Germany with non-profit Overture With The Arts. He is currently a member of grammy nominated Jazz/Soul outfit “The Morph-tet” and notable local musical improvisers “Kalmunity Vibe Collective”. Emile's album will be released worldwide on September 09, 2014 / / @jonathanemile /

Photo Cred - Alesya Kornetskaya

Recommended For You