Go… Away


Better late than never on this one: This would be sad if it were anyone else… but because it’s Gerald Tremblay, it’s extremely funny:

Will Mayor Gerald Tremblay have to stop using “Go” in his election slogan?

Quebec’s language watchdog yesterday said it will investigate complaints that Tremblay is contravening the provincial French language charter by illegally using English on election material.

[ . . . ]

The use of the English word “Go” is not a problem on election posters and billboards because the charter doesn’t apply to signs that feature “religious, political, ideological or humanitarian” messages of a non-profit nature.

But that exception does not extend to pamphlets.

The OLF is also chasing Bourque for the crime of distributing English-only brochures in my area:

Il y a quelques jours, l’équipe Bourque/Vision Montréal a également été montrée du doigt après avoir distribué des dépliants uniquement en anglais dans les arrondissements de Côte-des-Neiges et de Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.

This election is actually very sad, because I detest both Tremblay and Pierre Bourque. I voted for Tremblay last time because he promised to de-centralize the megacity… and he promptly reneged on that promise and spent his entire term trying to circumvent the demerger process. As for Bourque, it was his egomaniacal ambition that sparked the whole merger fiasco in the first place. I have no intention of voting for either of them.

So it’s amusing to see both candidates on the defensive due to language policies designed to oppress the “maudites anglaises”.

The best graffiti of election posters seen so far: on the corner of Sherbrooke and Decarie, under a big poster of Tremblay reading “Go Montreal”, someone scribbled the word “away”. Please, M. Tremblay, just go away.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 DaninVan 10.03.05 at 12:49 AM

“But that exception does not extend to pamphlets.”

How the f**k are they supposed to communicate political messsages to Anglophones?! If the Feds let this slide they DESERVE to be abandoned by Anglo Quebecers. (They desrve to be abandoned anyway, the slimy bastards…but that’s another topic.)


2 John Palubiski 10.03.05 at 2:37 PM

And what about certain “contracts” that Tremblay awarded to people who said nice things about him and his party?

I won’t be voting for either candidate. Besides, the city of Montréal doesn’t need a mayor…..it’s already chaotic enough….

One more thing, we should throw the OLF for a loop and hand out unilingual pamphlets in Hindi or Farsi or something.

Then again, would the OLF even realise they weren’t in english?


3 DaninVan 10.03.05 at 3:44 PM

!!!…BINGO. John, that’s brilliant!! That’s an incredibly elegant solution.
Flood the population with ethnic pamphlets and watch the OLF self destruct…DO IT!!!!!!!!


4 John Palubiski 10.03.05 at 4:30 PM

Well you know Dan, the office isn’t there to “protect” French. It’s realy the “Office for the Suppression of English”.

Were I to lodge a complaint about “creeping” Arab unilingualism (I see many commercial signs in Arabic only), I’d immediately be labelled you-know-what.

Of course they’d probably respond by saying that the loi is aimed primarily at the unrestricted use of English, but then, one wonders, why did they persue a certain manufacturer of Jewish gravestones for “creeping Hebrew” unilingualism?

By the way, the only Hebrews that “creep” are those under 6 months of age!

Trust me! I fact-checked that! 8)


5 DaninVan 10.03.05 at 6:51 PM

You’re pulling my leg on the gravestone thing right?! If that isn’t anti-semitism then what is. I take it that a magen David (star of David) is also verboten?


6 Tré 10.04.05 at 8:06 PM

`How the f**k are they supposed to communicate political messsages to Anglophones?!`

Print bilingual pamphlets.

`Were I to lodge a complaint about “creeping” Arab unilingualism (I see many commercial signs in Arabic only), I’d immediately be labelled you-know-what.`

Well, not that I agree, but that would make sense since:

‘You’re pulling my leg on the gravestone thing right?! If that isn’t anti-semitism then what is.’

So sick of this language issue.


7 DaninVan 10.05.05 at 8:03 PM

Yeh, me too.

It’s interesting that you mention the printing of bi-lingual pamphlets.


8 DaninVan 10.05.05 at 8:05 PM
9 DaninVan 10.05.05 at 8:10 PM

Speaking as we were of language issues, here’s one;
Report: More gay linguists
discharged than first thought
Records suggest U.S. military places
anti-gay position over national se



10 DaninVan 10.05.05 at 8:11 PM

?? that should read “…security”


11 John Palubiski 10.06.05 at 6:46 PM

I’m not joking! ( sorry haven’t been back here in a few days) It’s a tombstone merchant on St-Laurent Blvd whose business dates back to the late 1800’s.

His commercial sign had a few words of Hebrew on it and so the OLF declared it illegal.

Simple as that!

And no, Tré, I wouldn’t pull your leg about such a thing.

It was a clear-cut case of anti-semitism masquerading as “protection for french”.

This happened in the 90’s, and if my memory serves me, the premier of Québec stepped in and discretely terminated the dossier because it had become a major embarassment.

As though there was an imminent danger that Montréal would become majority “hebrewphone” because of a friggin’ commercial sign!!

Sari, do you know who I mean?

The business is (was?) on the west side of St-laurent blvd no more than two or three streets north of Pine Ave.

The name is on the tip of my tongue and I can’t remember it….grrrr…. I hate that!

It was something like “Katzman monuments”


12 Tré 10.06.05 at 8:29 PM

I know the business you refer to John, it is right near the Schwartz Deli and is called L. Berson & Sons. The Hebrew lettering was larger than the French. I would not call that specifically antisemitic since the same rule applies to all other languages. If you think the policy is discriminatory, fine, you are entitled. I’m not sure where I stand on that issue. Although I am sure that, even though I am fluently bilingual with no accent in either French and English (well, a Montreal accent), I wouldn’t want to return to a time when the majority population was refused good jobs (and consequently used as cheap labour) for not speaking the minority language.


13 Tré 10.07.05 at 2:56 AM

And Sari, svp, its “maudits anglais.” Anglo men are just as “detestable,” and French is still a sexist language.


14 DaninVan 10.07.05 at 8:12 AM

John, it was me whose leg you were not pulling; Tre was just quoting me


15 Ikram 10.07.05 at 7:24 PM

I remember L Berson et Fils. The Hebrew lettering was about the same size as the French. Some businesses in Chinatown had the same problem (at about the same time), and the OLF jumped on them too.

PC has the same problem — some of it’s salsa bottles are in English and Spanish on the English side, but French only on the French side. Funny, stupid, and sad.


16 John Palubiski 10.08.05 at 5:48 PM

Tré, why are you implying I’m anti-french? I was just pointing out some of the dumber aspects of Bill 101. I wasn’t advocating for a return to 1950’s Montréal where one couldn’t get served in french at Eatons…..supposedly.

It would be good to remember that French Canada was partly responsable for the predominance of english back then. French Canadian elites had for years eschewed the business world in favour of the more traditional professions of lawyer, notaire and doctor. Consequently, english dominated the financial, banking and retail spaces.

That’s hardly my fault now, is it?

I’m fluent in both official languages, too, by the way, and do most of my work in french….as sexist as that may be.

Thanks, by the way, for providing the name of L. Berson et Fils.


17 Tré 10.08.05 at 7:06 PM

For f***’s sake, relax John. I wasn’t implying anything. But it was a little more serious than not being able to get served in French at local shops. It was not being able to get good jobs, even when qualified. It was not always being able to access higher education, even when worthy. It was discriminatory delivery of public services (any idea when they finally paved Longueuil’s streets?) It was daily discrimination. Even today, the English harbor a lot of stereotypes that I’ve personally encountered (the BS, hot-dog-eating, pot-bellied, beer drinking, ignorant Frenchmen). Of course, who cares, today that does not lead to the discrimination it once did. But it is a little annoying to have had to put up with teachers in the English system surprised by the little girl from longueuil’s abilities and their habit of always so condescendingly telling her how “lucky” she is to speak English. Course, that was the 70s, hopefully they are less ignorant today.

I also know my history and yes, the Church and the French elite were in great part responsible for the situation and profited from it. It wasn’t all the “maudits anglais” fault. A point I keep having to make to one half of my family in defense of the other. But to be fair, I have to also remind the other that the “poutine crowd” are not all anti-anglo facist nationalist separatists. God I love family gatherings! And this also probably explains why I have no f***ing patience for this whole issue(!)


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