by Kevin Gould
2016 – 2015
La Presse: Chapleau & others
Le Devoir: Garnotte & Fleg
Journal de Montréal: Beaudet & Ygreck
The STM is officially opposed to the creeping bilingualism that continues to threaten the primacy of French in Montreal.
Meanwhile, Montreal continues to have more poverty than the rest of Quebec.
No\Deli, Kevin, Jack, and 4 others are discussing. Toggle Comments
La loi actuelle prévoit qu’on doit démontrer «la nécessité» du bilinguisme pour un poste.
They work with tourists all year long, and:
The City of Montréal accommodation tax represents its main source of revenue.
Isn’t that enough? Isn’t hotel staff that works with the public expected to know English?
Actually, the latter statement might not be accurate. It’s unclear if the tax is Montreal’s main revenue (sonds dubious) or Tourisme Montreal’s (more likely). The spirit remains the same. :)
What a world we live in Odile Paradis, the spokesperson for the STM gets her talking points from the Societe St.Jean Baptiste and its off shoot Mouvement Quebec Francais. ( By the way their are at least 8 of these groups with the same membership but different names, these two even have the same President.Its called astroturfing and is enabled by incredibly lazy journalists. The journalists who take these press releases add an intro and conclusion and go to happy hour.)
In contrast Lisee tells the STM to be decent to their customers and do the right thing.Pigs are flying!
Language issues only arise in Montreal when two nutcases of different languages accidentally happen to cross paths. I wish the 1% wouldn’t ruin life for the rest of us.
Make that the 0.01%
Doesn’t the STM operate in cities that have bilingual status? Wouldn’t that imply that it would be useful for bus drivers operating in those cities to have some knowledge of the language?
Oddly, the STM seems to take its political (and/or “legal”) cues from the provincial level of government, not the municipal. Despite the fact that its funds come mostly from Montreal – not QC City. [Recall this previous discussion, where I also link to the STM’s 2012 budget.]
It’s an interesting thought, but I’ll bet the assorted city-specific language policies would matter little in this. For the STM it seems to be all about ideology and the PQ distortion field, not facts on the ground. Or customer service.
The official stance is beside the point. Some STM folks are fine with speaking English. (I would never speak English to an STM worker but I’ve seen it happen often enough to know it does.) I wonder whether they’re under pressure from coworkers not to do it, and whether if more noise is made about this issue the net effect will be to institute stricter policy (or heighten feeling and peer pressure, at least) against any use of English at all.
Here’s a brief letter in La Presse that’s interesting: I like the concluding idea “there’s a limit to being nice.” When you find yourself making that argument, how can you not see the flaw?
This wasn’t even an issue until 1. A Colombian playing for the Impact was treated rudely by an agent. 2 A ticket agent posted a sign that said he would not under any circumstances serve a customer in english at Villa Maria ( you know in NDG-Snowdon).3. A ticket agent left her booth to pound a customer that was giving her attitude in english.4. It was found out that one ticket taker had been suspended three times for being offensive in his dealings with english speakers.
Is that being nice to the customers? Look I am happy to live in a city where French is the predominant language, it makes living here interesting and in many ways compelling. This is however a question of rudeness and the empowerment of the weak minded. This attitude provides the employees a platform to dump on people that they are supposed to be serving. No one said a word about this until zealots used this platform as an opportunity to do harm.
How do you say ‘tyranny of the majority’ in French? Or ‘We like having second-class citizens’?
Logic rarely defeats emotional arguments. So sayeth Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Fox News.
Jack, you forgot about this bizarre case in 2009 – sufficiently long ago that it’s already buried under a heap of more recent offenses.
Honestly though, can’t at least this one thing be free of this poisonous, fruitless language bickering? The STM should be concentrating on one thing: increasing ridership. How is this political bullshit conducive to that goal? Why is a transit authority taking political stances at all? NOWHERE ELSE.
*takes a Prozac*
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