Updates from February, 2013 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 20:08 on 2013/02/23 Permalink | Reply  

    An Argentine who was the star chef invited to the High Lights festival has gone home after one of the organizers apparently told him he’d have to brush up his plating technique or risk insulting the customers. The chef is tweeting angrily.

    • Ephraim 12:41 on 2013/02/24 Permalink

      He’s a guest. He should have been treated as one. And the plating of his food is not only his prerogative, but might be cultural oriented. And you have to be very careful when speaking to people of other cultures in a language that is not their own because the nuances could be misunderstood. Someone should have not only apologized, swiftly, but should have been able to find an interpreter and correct the situation. A lot of people are going to be disappointed, he is quite a chef and it’s to this festival’s detriment that he left and might affect future participation. You don’t belittle the situation by saying this is the first time is x years. There should never be a first. It’s a failure.

    • Blork 14:50 on 2013/02/25 Permalink

      Has there been any discussion on what exactly it was about the plating that was considered to be insulting? Was it just sloppy, or was there some sort of inherent (perceived) insult in the way things were arranged?

    • Ephraim 15:01 on 2013/02/25 Permalink

      From what was publicly said, it wasn’t neat or fancy enough for what is expected from high end restaurants here. He’s known for his grilling and his simplicity in presentation and use of local ingredients.

      He’s a very famous chef in Argentina, an artisan. He should have simply been left to his craft.

    • Kate 10:55 on 2013/02/26 Permalink

      They should try lecturing the Schwartz’s cutters on “plating”!

  • Kate 18:27 on 2013/02/23 Permalink | Reply  

    Giggle of the day: Garnotte on how police intimidation looks different when it’s you.

  • Kate 10:34 on 2013/02/23 Permalink | Reply  

    Yves Boisvert has an entertaining story about the OQLF visiting the Holder brasserie in Old Montreal.

    • Steve Quilliam 12:01 on 2013/02/23 Permalink

      This is getting ridiculous. We can’t keep harassing businesses like that. Someone has to stop that nonsense. It is giving Montreal a bad name while the reality is totally different. I can’t believe this goes on without nobody putting a definite stop to it.

      How can one complaint can turn into a visit by a zealot OQLF inspector ?

      This is making people from all over laugh at us, not taking us seriously and even hating the french language while the latter has nothing to do with it.

      There must be something we can do about it. Start a petition, invade to locals of the OQLF, pressure our elected members (yeah right), send thousands of false complaint to the OQLF, call the UN etc… Something has to be done !

      I’m starting to hate my city because of us removing Italian sign, taking away some english word, discussing if we shoud use the word bagel of kosher instead of ”bagueuel et cachère”.

      For god sake, we are better than that.

    • steph 12:11 on 2013/02/23 Permalink

      So the law is based on Quebec lexicon, and not French Language? No wonder they never worry about the way Quebeckers bastardize french.

    • jeather 12:12 on 2013/02/23 Permalink

      Start complaining about English in restaurants or stores in Quebec City? They’re just as likely to have microwaves that say stop, or steak frites on the menu.

    • Bill Binns 13:13 on 2013/02/23 Permalink

      Just had a big argument with the Wife who is 100% in favor of this type of thing. Quebec must be santized of every sylable of non-french. There are plenty of language zealots in Quebec and thats why this behavior continues.

    • Alex L 14:00 on 2013/02/23 Permalink

      I thought that story was fake, until I read the end. I wonder if OQLF inspectors get hired following a specific personnality (aka extremists), as policemen. Or if they get some kind of points or rewards by spotting more irregularities when doing their visits. I think there is a need for some kind of supervision, but that is going way too far.

      @steph, don’t be a purist yourself; your commentary is kind of insulting. A pure french language doesn’t exist and never did, and saying Quebeckers bastardize the « french language » is totally false. Language adapts everywhere, new words are formed that can’t be used in every other region where the language is spoken. What’s french language in Belgium? Haiti? Mali? Look at english language, from west germanic origin and strongly influenced by latin and norse. Is there something as « pure english »?

    • Dave M 14:07 on 2013/02/23 Permalink

      Of course this is ridiculous, and I’m sure it’s worse now, but it’s worth pointing out this sentence near the end: “Cette inspection remonte à une douzaine de mois, sous le gouvernement libéral.”

    • steph 14:39 on 2013/02/23 Permalink

      @Alex, you’re totally right. If the OQLF shared your perspective, incidents like this would never happen. Unfortunately reason has flown the coop.
      What ever happened to the cracking down on the labels and wordings on appliances sold to the general public? on http://www.cjad.com/CJADLocalNews/entry.aspx?BlogEntryID=10398521

    • Al 15:26 on 2013/02/23 Permalink

      Could we start a petition to have funding to the OQLF completely cut? or the whole thing just legislated away? Isn’t there a way to petition the legislative assembly?

    • Kate 17:00 on 2013/02/23 Permalink

      “Legislative assembly”? Where are you writing from, Al?

    • Ephraim 17:36 on 2013/02/23 Permalink

      Small minds have to have something to do, or they might contemplate things like a solution to poverty and hunger.

    • Josh 17:38 on 2013/02/23 Permalink

      “Legislative assembly” is pretty commonplace in many other Canadian jurisdictions, Kate. Not like he’s speaking Martian.

    • Kate 18:04 on 2013/02/23 Permalink

      Josh, yes, thanks – I’m not a complete idiot – but if someone’s writing about petitioning the “legislative assembly” about the OQLF, I raise an eyebrow wondering if he’s ever even lived here.

    • carswell 19:44 on 2013/02/23 Permalink

      The OQLF must be having a festival des restaurants. Joe Beef also reports getting a visit: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013/02/23/joe_beef_chefs.html

    • Kate 01:04 on 2013/02/24 Permalink

      “I love Quebec … but it’s not getting any easier,” says David McMillan.

    • Al 14:28 on 2013/02/24 Permalink

      Course I live here Kate! I’m just a pie in the sky optimist is all.

    • Ian 16:00 on 2013/02/24 Permalink

      @steph actually they do try to make Quebec French more “proper” – a couple of years back they were trying to get some Francophone-owned restaurant in East end Montreal to change its menus and signage from “hamburger” to “hambourgeois”. And the owner (justly) complained that everyone says “hamburger” in French and that was the last anyone heard of it. So in a sense I suppose the OQLF is trying to correct Quebec French, at least where franglais becomes the norm. I’m sure some bureacratic patriot will hold up the example of Chiac as a negative example of what happens if you just let people use whatever words they feel like, though I do agree with Alex that languages evolve and should be permitted to do so even if it means occasionally adopting words from other languages. English certainly adopted a ton of French words and apparently it didn’t hurt the vitality of the language any int he long run.

    • jeather 09:40 on 2013/02/25 Permalink

      Have you been to France? There’s a lot more use of English words there than here, proper or not. Parking, wifi, weekend, etc etc — my friend from here now lives there, and it surprised her for a while.

    • Kevin 07:38 on 2013/02/26 Permalink

      Quebec is the only place in the world that uses ‘stationnement’. There’s a reason the universal symbol is a P in a circle…

  • Kate 09:24 on 2013/02/23 Permalink | Reply  

    The STM has put up a series of photos on Facebook of metro stations under construction, with the challenge to guess them before noon Saturday. I don’t think there’s any prize except knowing you’re a transit geek.

    • Ant6n 11:20 on 2013/02/23 Permalink

      well that was fun

    • Doobious 07:31 on 2013/02/24 Permalink

      Indeed. Those were mostly new to me.

    • Churchy McGee 14:58 on 2013/02/24 Permalink

      Funny, if they published these photos and did their best to circulate them, they’d likely secure a lot of long-term public interest in Métro expansion.

      I mean, it looks cool, it looks good, it looks right. Why not build as many more as we possibly can?

    • Kate 23:39 on 2013/02/24 Permalink

      Why not build as many more as we possibly can?

      Because they end up costing a billion dollars each, unfortunately.

  • Kate 09:13 on 2013/02/23 Permalink | Reply  

    A look at why the UPAC raided city hall and certain borough halls recently: a large unpaid bill from Octane Strategies. Is it going too far to say Gérald Tremblay “stole” the 2001 election from Pierre Bourque? Bourque had been a lacklustre mayor for two terms, and while this article describes him as a populist I don’t remember any great wave of popular affection for the man.

    It sounds to me like there’s a vibe afoot to imply something like the sponsorship scandal was going on at city hall.

  • Kate 08:59 on 2013/02/23 Permalink | Reply  

    This week will be dominated by the education summit. Here’s some gloomy thoughts from the Gazette and different gloomy thoughts from La Presse’s André Pratte. Le Devoir takes a few angles, considering the position of Pierre Duchesne and some aspects the paper thinks are being overlooked. Metro underlines the tension with a brief note on heightened security planned for Griffintown on Monday and Tuesday.

  • Kate 08:15 on 2013/02/23 Permalink | Reply  

    The CEIC is now looking at the city’s real estate dealings and sweetheart deals that were offered to various developers.

  • Kate 08:07 on 2013/02/23 Permalink | Reply  

    A new book says the Conservatives are poised for decades of power and that the Canadian values we grew up with are dead. Cheery reading on a gray Saturday morning.

    Of course, the deficit continues to grow despite their management, making the days of Chrétien/Martin management look so sunny by comparison.

    • qatzelok 09:44 on 2013/02/23 Permalink

      A thousand years of tar sands.

    • carswell 09:57 on 2013/02/23 Permalink

      A new book written by a Conservative hack, let it be noted. If anything maintains the Cons’ reign of error, it’ll be a relatively evenly split opposition (in all probability to be assured by Trudeau’s coronation) and the abomination that is the first-past-the-post voting system.

    • Ephraim 13:36 on 2013/02/23 Permalink

      Expect personal income taxes to grow as they try to pay for the increase in the deficit. See http://www.globeadvisor.com/servlet/ArticleNews/story/gam/20130223/NWFOLIOPROVDEBTMAINATL

      And it will be disastrous if interest rates increase. The Conservatives have spent us into the poor house and most of us have absolutely NOTHING to show for it.

    • Al 15:27 on 2013/02/23 Permalink

      These guys are just nutty moral conservatives. What this confederation needs is a good 20 years of libertarianism.

    • Kate 16:34 on 2013/02/23 Permalink

      Hey, or why not try out fascism, absolute monarchy or other wacky forms of government too, just for the kick?

    • Ephraim 17:39 on 2013/02/23 Permalink

      Fascism doesn’t work well for long periods, just short periods on condition that the person is altruistic, which usually doesn’t happen. Monarchy? Only if we can have the British Monarchy, it’s a profit centre for the UK. But if you want to try wacky, how about ultimate democracy by telephone. Every few days they ask us questions and we get to vote, by telephone.

    • Bill Binns 19:25 on 2013/02/23 Permalink

      How about we pretend we are a little country when we are really just a bankrupt rural province with one major city? We could refer to our provincal legislature as a “National Assembly” and our Premiere could travel around the world and ride in limosines with little flags on the fenders just like a real national leader. Nahh, too crazy. The people would never stand for it. Ephraim’s democracy by telephone idea is much more workable.

    • Raymond Lutz 14:31 on 2013/02/24 Permalink

      Et pourquoi pas essayer l’instruction publique? Pour nous sortir de l’ignorance crasse…

      Tel un taux canadien d’analphabétisme fonctionnel de 50%? Ou la prévalence semblable de la croyance que Dieu a créé l’homme?


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