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November 07, 2007

Pollster's revenge

It was dinner time (of course) when the pollster called. He spoke quickly at me in French and all I caught was 'CROP poll'. I interrupted him and said, "I'm sorry, I only speak English."

*click* HUMMMMMMM.....

June 23, 2007

Distinct Society

St Jean Baptiste is tomorrow, but for the Municipality of La Pêche, just to the north of me, there will be no parade this year. Why? Because last year the parade degenerated into a spontaneous 'smoke show', in which tires were spun to create great clouds of toxic smoke that stunk up the area for miles around. It looks like it was a pretty cool time:

City officials are terrified that it would happen again this year and become an annual event. The government is suppressing Québecois culture! Why is this not front page news all over Québec?

May 11, 2007

This weekend: the rematch

Two and a half years ago, a hockey series was played. But due to injuries (feigned, most likely), a conclusive result was never reached. But this weekend, the question will be answered -- who has the best street hockey team, Quebec or the World?

There will be beverages there as well. I'll file a report on Monday.

May 08, 2007

That was quick

Boisclair is stepping down from the leadership of the PQ, setting up Duceppe's move to the majors from separatism's Ottawa farm team.

I never understood why the PQ picked this guy in the first place. It seemed that they were just interested in attributes of him, not the whole package. They congratulated themselves on the fact that they were cool enough to choose a young, gay man known to have had a drug habit. They didn't notice he was a poor leader and forgot that rural Quebec is as (socially) conservative as Alberta.

Next!

August 31, 2006

Childcare in Quebec - going out of business

As of tomorrow, private daycares that had been operating in Quebec's subsidized system will no longer be able to charge supplementary fees over the $7/day base. Up until now, daycares could charge for extra services. For example, the all-natural daycare Max and Talia had been going to charged $9/day extra for 'organic' food and 'educational activities' -- most of which seemed to consist of learning various yoga positions. Whatever. I'm pretty much against the 'organic' movement and am agnostic about yoga, but I didn't mind paying the extra money because I knew spots in the subsidized system were very hard to find, and I knew the providers were good people running a difficult business. The money they got from the government was just enough for them to make ends meet. And to get that money, they had to perform an enormous amount of paperwork.

Last month, they gave up and moved out of the community. Other, more lucrative and less insanity-inducing opportunities were taken. But it may also be that they heard about these new regulations. As might be expected, the Quebec government has rationalized preventing people from voluntarily negotiating a price for services by appealing to the common good and claiming those greedy daycares already have enough money:

Family Minister Carole Theberge insists that the total funding available to day cares is sufficient to provide a quality service to Quebec's children.

"They have all the money they need to absorb the costs of running a day care for children zero to four years old, and meet all the educational requirements and social development of the children," she told the Canadian Press.

Theberge said the new regulations were designed, among other things, to ensure the universality of Quebec's day-care system.

Of course, price controls always, always cause shortages. Expect an already limited supply of subsidized daycare spaces to shrink even more. But beyond that, money was invested and business plans were made based on carefully laid-out government funding regulations. With a stroke of a pen, the Quebec government has destroyed those plans, likely resulting in bankruptcy for many small businesses.

June 10, 2006

A distinct society

The rest of Canada has Slurpees; Quebec has Sloche. Which is tastier and more refreshing? I think this video has the answer.