This morning, UPAC arrested 7 high-ranking politicians, including former Quebec Deputy Premier Nathalie Normandeau on charges of fraud, corruption and abuse of public trust:

The group of seven, which includes people associated with the provincial Liberals and the Parti Québécois, were arrested shortly after 6 a.m. on Thursday in Quebec City, Charlevoix and the Gaspésie, UPAC chief Robert Lafrenière said.

[ . . . ]

Others arrested are:  former Liberal cabinet minister Marc-Yvan Côté, Normandeau’s former chief of staff, Bruno Lortie, Roche engineering employees Mario Martel and France Michaud, as well as Ernest Murray, a former political attaché to former Premier Pauline Marois and François Roussy, former mayor of the town of Gaspé.

The discussions being sparked in social media as a result of this are interesting. Corruption has long been assumed to be a part of most political processes, especially here in Quebec. The long, drawn-out Charbonneau Commission was met by the population with a shrug, probably because many of its so-called “shocking” revelations were things that everyone pretty much knew but nobody openly acknowledged. Our politicians abuse party fundraising, cozy up to organized crime, and fix bidding contracts in exchange for kickbacks? That discussion is as old and tired as the endless debate about the Cavendish extension.

Of course, anger over corruption does tend to flare up on occasion. The student-initated “Maple Spring” gave voice to a general anger against the Charest-led Liberals, which ultimately brought down the government and ushered in 18 turbulent months of Marois-led PQ rule. That time period was so fraught, so divisive, such an ugly chapter in Quebec’s recent history that it still gives me the chills. I’m no fan of the Liberals — they’ve always been a hold-your-nose-and-vote party — but I also have absolutely no desire to return to debates about kippas and headscarves, identity politics, or whether Muslims in Quebec deserve the same rights as the rest of us.

And so when I see people — particularly PQ supporters — gleefully greeting the news of more Liberal corruption, I have to wonder: Would you prefer your political leaders to be corrupt or evil?

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Google searches for “moving to Canada” rose by 1000% after the US primary “Super Tuesday” results:

In the four hours around the close of polls across Super Tuesday states, searches for “how can I move to Canada” on Google spiked by 350%. By midnight, the query had risen to more than 1000% its normal search volume. It was especially high in Massachusetts, where Trump dominated the field with just under 50 per cent of the vote.

It’s trendy for Americans to talk about moving to Canada if their candidate loses an election. It’s far less common for them to actually do it. According to Statistics Canada, about 9,000 Americans move to Canada per year, compared with about 33,000 Canadians who move to the US annually. And the US has 10 times as many people as we do, so the discrepancy is even bigger when you look at per capita numbers. Politics aside, most people move for more practical reasons, like jobs.

… But if this time you really, really mean it, I’ll be considering marriage applications as of September.

Criteria:

  • Any gender (this is Canada after all)
  • Any socioeconomic status (we have socialized healthcare and a considerable social safety net; I don’t need to marry you for your money)
  • Preferably a nice person (’cause we’re nice in Canada, eh?)
  • Must love snow
  • Must hate guns
  • Must be able to quote John Oliver at length. And eventually Rick Mercer, though I’ll allow you some time to brush up first.
  • Bonus points for sending me chocolate with your application
  • Bonus points for witticisms about Drumpf’s hair

Please forward all applications to getmeoutofhere@greatwhitenorth.eh

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Four thoughts on Bernie Sanders’s Jewishness

02.25.2016

Four thoughts about this New York Times piece on Bernie Sanders being the first viable Jewish candidate for President: He’s usually highly accessible to the media. But he declined to be interviewed for this article. Which is both admirable and highly telling: Admirable because the religious views of American politicians are usually front and centre [...]

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Don’t Stand By

01.27.2016

Today is the UN’s internationally designated Holocaust Memorial Day. (Not to be confused with Yom HaShoah, which falls in early May this year.) This year, the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust is urging us to not only remember the victims of the Holocaust, but to turn our focus towards fighting persecution that is taking place in [...]

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4 ways the “war on terror” is like the “war on drugs”

11.16.2015

Disclaimer: This post contains spoilers for the TV show “The Wire”. And also some colourful language, such as you might expect when talking about terrorist bastards. This week has been a bad one for the world. Unless, of course, you happen to be a giant terrorist asshole. Terror attacks in Beirut, Baghdad, and the deadliest [...]

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Elizabeth May should not be Environment Minister

10.21.2015

There are petitions going around urging Justin Trudeau to appoint Elizabeth May as Environment Minister. I think that’s a terrible idea. Here’s why: After a decade of Stephen Harper’s “war on science”, we finally have a government committed to returning to evidence-based decision making. Trudeau wants to bring back the long form census. He wants [...]

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It’s a Liberal majority!

10.20.2015

Wow. Just wow. Prime Minister Trudeau. It’s been a long time since Canada has heard those words. Before my lifetime, anyway. I dared hope for a Liberal minority. I never in my wildest dreams could have predicted a Liberal majority. The Tories have been turfed out. Stephen Harper has announced he will step down as [...]

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Pollwatch: Dirty tricks as Canadians vote

10.19.2015

#Pollwatch: I’ve been hearing reports of people having difficulty voting, despite being on the voter registration list and showing up with multiple forms of ID. Via the Orwellian-named “Fair Elections Act“, Stephen Harper is trying to make it more difficult for people to vote, and I fear he may be succeeding. Don’t let him get [...]

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John Oliver on Canadian Election: Don’t vote for Harper

10.19.2015

John Oliver is one of my favourite comedian-slash-pundits. Last night, he took on the topic of the Canadian federal election, as only he could: Now, it’s true that this is a bit of a lighthearted treatment of the topic, with plenty of room for moose jokes and Canadian stereotypes. But remember that Oliver is addressing [...]

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Let’s do this, Canada!

10.18.2015

Well, it’s been a really long slog of a campaign. But either way, it all ends tomorrow. So I’ll just leave you with this plea: Please get out and vote — it CAN and WILL make a difference. If you’re not sure where or when to vote, visit www.elections.ca. If you aren’t sure who to [...]

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