I am a few minutes away from publishing a post on La Fontaine., but …
The events of the week kept away from you. A vein broke near my eyes. My eyes were filled with blood and one eye went from deep green to blue, but I’ve recovered. It didn’t hurt and I am recovering.
The Project: no Language Laws
I will first get in touch with Champlain-Lennoxville, the Advantage programme. Reforms are necessary, and French-speaking students have been enrolling in English-language Cégeps for several decades. It’s their English-language immersion finishing schools and there is no tuition fee. I must then talk to Justin Trudeau and François Legault. Attending a Cégep after grade eleven does not threaten a student’s knowledge of French.
The more difficult step is convincing French-speaking students to have anglophones as their classmates. A few changes are needed. As a university teacher of second-language acquisition, four years at McMaster University, and I wrote articles on the subject, I have the necessary background. I have also edited books on this subject.
Interestingly, people have realized that Internet Archives, Gutenberg, Wikisource have published a wealth of free books including audio texts. I have used these to write articles of every play Molière wrote. Henri van Laun is a scholar.
I am returning to the fables of La Fontaine, but I will be busy working on a better relationship between English-speaking and French-speaking Quebecers. There has to be trust that the French will not lose their language. The Battle of the Plains of Abraham took place a long time ago. We are now a free people, and our official languages are French and English.
The conversation begins. Cégeps are the starting point. French-speaking students themselves have used Cégeps. We keep this alive.
Wherever I phone, I hear: English will follow.
Here is an introduction to Lori Weber. She speaks four languages and is an author.
The figures I provided in my last post were misleading. I put the post aside.
In the sombre days of imperialism and colonialism, Prime Minister John A. Macdonald created “uniform” schools where English was the language of instruction. He minoritized French-speaking Canadians. As immigrants arrived in Canada, their children had to attend English-language schools. Children could not be educated in French outside Quebec. He made Quebec their only home.
Québécois would like to retain their language. They have done so since Nouvelle-France fell to Britain. But the obligatory francization of businesses is unacceptable. Quebec is trying to assimilate its anglophone population and drive it away from Quebec. No company should be asked to obtain a Certificate of Francization. Quebec is a province of Canada, and Canada is officially bilingual. Moreover, anglophones have the right to bilingual services in such areas as the Eastern Townships.
John A. Macdonald created uniform schools, and l’Office de la langue française is creating a uniform province.
The figures (list of colleges) I am providing show that Quebec is home to both anglophones and francophones. I would hate to think that we cannot live together happily. Many Anglophones live in Montreal. They have their literature, songwriters, artists, and institutions. McGill University is a monument to the world of learning.
Doctors at the Montreal Neurological Institute work miracles. Imagine Quebec has the Montreal Neurological Institute, but Quebecers cannot find a doctor. That situation is infamy. So much of our tax dollars is spent on doctors, but medicine is deficient in Quebec.
Although Bill 96 was passed in May and came into effect in June 2022, it has already led to the creation of a new political party in Quebec. The new party’s name is Le Parti canadien du Québec. It is the name, or nearly so, Pierre-Stanislas Bédard gave to his nationalist party in the early 1800s. Bédard was elected to the Assembly of Lower Canada in 1792, a year after the Constitutional Act was passed, and he created his Parti canadien, the very first Canadian party, at the turn of the 19th century. In 1806, Bédard also started a newspaper, Le Canadien.
The motivation to secede was informed by the “Rights of Englishmen,” but it also justified leaving the independent United States, no longer ruled by Britain. After the fall of Nouvelle-France, citizens of the Thirteen Colonies could move north to Britain’s new colony, the former New France. These individuals did not differ substantially from secessionists. Canadiens were not equal to Englishmen. They spoke French, the language of Britain’s main rival, France, and France had lost the Seven Years’ War. Moreover, the French in North America were Catholics.
The Constitutional Act of 1791 divided the vast Province of Quebec into Upper and Lower Canada. Upper Canada would be home to English-speaking Canadians, but United Empire Loyalists settled the Eastern Townships of Quebec, where I was born. The Eastern Townships is a bilingual area of Quebec, within limits. Bill 96 further narrows the limits determined by Bill 101, passed in 1977. Bill 96 also restricts access to English-language Cégeps. Many Québécois attend English-language Cégeps, a two-year pre-University programme, to learn English. English is the currentlingua franca, the language of success.
In Fréchette’s poem, we sense a solid will to remember the Rebellions of 1837-1838. (Les Rébellions de 37). The Rebellions took place in both Canadas, where patriots sought responsible government. They attacked the state: Britain. The rebellion was more intense in Lower Canada than in Upper Canada, and repression was more severe. Most convicted patriots were hanged or exiled to Australia, and some, to Bermuda.
After Canadiens read Lord Durham’s Report on the Rebellions of 1837-1838, they founded two literary schools, one in Quebec City and, the other, in Montréal. Louis-Honoré Fréchette (1839-1908) was a prominent member of l’École littéraire de Montréal. I have found an ebook edition of Jean Charbonneau‘s L’École littéraire de Montréal. Louis-Honoré Fréchette was in favour of annexation with the United States.
The Atlantic Revolutions
I have already mentioned the Atlantic Revolutions. The Rebellions of 1837-1838 are currently considered one of several attempts to create republics. A Patriot War was waged within the Rebellions of 1837-1838. It took place between December 1837 and December 1838. The Patriot War was an ideological war mostly. It promoted republicanism. William Lyon Mackenzie proclaimed the Republic of Canada on December 5, 1837, but the Patriot War started in Vermont, and the Patriots were defeated.
I believe the survival of the French language in Canada is threatened. Confederation led to the creation of “uniform” schools in every province of Canada, except Quebec. When immigrants arrived, they attended “uniform” schools. This policy originated in Macaulayism. Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800-1859) was a fine gentleman, but the sun never set on the British Empire which could lead people astray. The English Education system would be used in Britain’s colonies. Moreover, English would be the language of instruction in higher education in India and in post-Confederation Canada. The French could not be educated in French outside. They had to stay in Quebec. Immigrants who arrived in Canada were educated in “uniform” schools. It created an imbalance, that cannot be redressed easily and it should not demand that every Canadian learn French and English. That would be unrealistic. However, it should be possible to learn a second language in schools. Following the passage of the Official Languages Act of 1969, French immersion schools were established.
Ottawa has a Commissioner of Official Languages, and Pomquet is not the only Acadian village to boast une école acadienne. I taught Second Language Didactics at McMaster University and served as President of l’Apfucc, l’Association des Professeurs de Français des Universités et Collègues canadiens or Canadian Association of University and College Teachers of French. I also served on the board of directors and the executive of the Fédération canadienne des Études humaines, now renamed Fédération canadienne des Sciences humaines. These were my better days. I have investigated second-language teaching/learning.
I will close by saying that language policies protecting the French language in Canada should not lead to chicaneries and threaten Canadian unity. (to be continued)
Michel Ducharme’s Closing the Last Chapter of the Atlantic Revolution: The 1837-38 Rebellions in Upper and Lower Canada is also an internet publication, but I may not use it without the author’s permission. It can be found under the Rebellions of 1837-1838.
Fred Pellerin is Nicolas Pellerin‘s brother (see below). Fred is a conteur, but he is also a singer and a musician.
In this song, Fred Pellerin is a truck driver, un camionneur, who talks to his wife who wants to remodel the kitchen of their home. She doesn’t like her kitchen’s melamine counter. I suppose she wants something real, which could be wood. Beautiful wood counters are available in Quebec.
We suspect that our camionneur, truck driver, does not have the means to refurbish his house. He sleeps in his truck. This could be an older Quebec, but truck drivers are everywhere.
Everything changed after 1960. Maurice Duplessis died and Jean Lesage, a Liberal, became premier of Quebec. When I returned to Quebec in 2002, the province was no longer the same. Most changes reflected a wish to be maîtres chez soi (masters in our own house). Quebec did not sign the Constitution of 1982.
More and more Canadians are being vaccinated, but those who would not wear a mask do not want to be vaccinated. Some have been infected and variants have appeared. The police is protecting locations where the government is vaccinating people. The police is well trained. Persons living in my building wear a mask. Several are medical doctors.
I am still alone and I feel somewhat fragile. For instance, I cannot handle discussing the Royals. I have therefore edited my comments. One cannot tell what is going on. It’s too complicated. All I can say is that Prince Harry loved the military. He has suffered a loss.
One wonders how Québécois would survive after the arrival of United Empire Loyalists and the loss of deported Acadians. The English-speaking population of Canada constituted a majority. How would French-speaking Canadians survive? During a period of the history of Quebec, a high birth rate provided hope. Families could number from 18 to 24 children, most of whom survived childhood. It was said of women, that they had to have their “nombre.” his high birth rate was called la revanche des berceaux, the revenge of the cradle.
In short, women toiled against odds. They were pregnant for years while husbands made land, faire de la terre. The land did not always yield good crops. As well, people lived away from their village. They attended Mass every Sunday and socialized a little after mass, on the perron. Louis Hémon told this story in his novel entitled Maria Chapdelaine. After sending his manuscript to France, in 1913, he started to walk West, but he was hit by a train, at Chapleau, Ontario. He may have been trying to meet the French Counts of Saint-Hubert, Saskatchewan.
French aristocrats tried to move to Canada. It was not a very successful endeavour, but several members of the French-speaking population of Western Canada are not descendants of Quebecers. I met many of this branch of French-speaking Canadians. Some retired in Victoria and had a good relationship with the descendants of Québécois. I nearly married a descendant of this population, but he committed suicide. They bought a large number of houses that are now too expensive. We socialized considerably and we owned a tiny church and a hall. I play the organ, so every Sunday, I went to the 11 o’clock Mass and performed.
La Revanche des berceaux was successful.
It suggested that although Anglo-Canadians dominated Canada in the 19th century, the higher birth rate in Quebec promised that French-Canadians would resist British immigration and discrimination.
The irony is that these children had to leave Quebec because they could not earn a living.
The Ultramontane ideology encouraged poverty. Quebecers would start to live happily once they entered eternal life. Suffering now was seen as a sign of salvation. One paid for the original sin on earth, which was comforting. All human beings have to atone for the original sin: better on earth than after death. This view can also be called Jansenism.
Ultramontanism lessened the suffering of women who bore children incessantly. God would let them enter Paradise. However, when I was a child, women had a hysterectomy. It made them sterile. My mother did not undergo a hysterectomy until we moved away from Quebec. The dead children were used as guinea pigs. A cure was found for the family’s congenital blood disease. My mother’s legs had been ruined by varicose veins. However, she believed that not having children was sinful.
Refus global and the Asbestos Strike
A manifesto, Refus global, written in 1948, and a strike, the Asbestos Strike of 1949, would end the plight of workers. Maurice Duplessis tried every aberration to end the strike. Ultramontanism had died, but Maurice Duplessis feared socialism and, possibly, communism. Workers were not killed, but the repression caught the attention of Pierre Elliot Trudeau and colleagues. One of my uncles was shot at. His brother, also my uncle, was Quebec’s top civil servant. When Maurice Duplessis died, Quebec had long been ready for its Quiet Revolution which started in 1960. The Asbestos Strike made a famous victim, the bishop of Montreal. He opposed Duplessis and had to leave for Victoria, British Columbia. Monseigneur Joseph Charbonneau was a very good person.
In Maria Chapdelaine, Louis Hémon writes that Québec will carry on forever. That may not be.
I have been trying to post an article on 19th-century Quebec. As workers tried to organize, many priests sided with the boss. Some threatened excommunication, if workers got together. A few workers were killed. In short, it’s heartbreaking.
Yet, I will write the shortest of posts. We are living and dying in the age of Covid-19. There are new outbreaks. So I want to tell you to wear a mask. It’s your only defense.
Social distancing does not work very well unless one also wears a mask. Nature has made us gregarious, so we automatically approach others.
The image above can be found in Arnaud Bessière’s entry on Slavery, in the Virtual Museum of New France, Slavery. Bessière’s document is short and authoritative. Morever, it is bilingual. I have used it to create this post. There were slaves in New France, but most were the Indigenous people of North America who themselves owned slaves.
Slave-owning people of what became Canada were, for example, the Yurok, a fishing society, who lived along the Pacific coast from Alaska to California or the Northwest Coast.
Slavery among Amerindians may not have been as ingrained a cultural element in the native population of North America Northeastern coast, but Amerindians living on the shores of the St Lawrence had slaves. It was not uncommon for an Amerindian friend to give a slave to a French colonist. These Amerindians were members of the First Nations.
Let us see the numbers.
Before the Conquest of New France by the British in 1659,New France had 4,000 slaves, but 1,123 were Blacks and the remainder, 2,472, Aboriginals. After the Conquest, French- speaking Canadians owned 1,509 of which 181 were English. These are Marcel Trudel’s numbers, quoted in Slavery in Canada (Wikipedia). Marcel Trudel also notes 31 marriages between French colonists and Aboriginal slaves (see Slavery in Canada, Wikipedia).
After the Conquest of Canada by Britain (1759), formalized by the Treaty of Paris (1763), French Canadians owned 181 Black slaves and 1,509 Amerindian slaves. So, as Bessière writes, no slave ship sailed down the St. Lawrence River.
Despite colonial officials’ oft-reiterated yearning to have African slaves imported to the colony, no slave ship ever reached the St. Lawrence valley.
Bessière also writes that
[t]hose black slaves who arrived in the region came from the neighbouring British colonies, from which they were smuggled or where they were taken as war captives. A number of Canadian merchants also brought black slaves back from their business trips to the south, in Louisiana or in the French Caribbean.
Lower Canada: the First Black Citizen & the First Black Slave
Mathieu da Costa
Olivier le Jeune
We know that Mathieu da Costa was the first Black to come to New France. He was not a slave, but a free man of African-Portuguese descent and Canada’s first linguist. As for the first Black slave in New France, he was a six-year old child. The young slave belonged to Sir David Kirke, one of the Brothers Kirke, who blockaded the St. Lawrence during the Anglo-French War of 1627 – 1629. Quebec fell (1628), but Samuel de Champlain argued that the English seizure of his land was unlawful, as the war had already ended when David Kirke took Québec. The territory was therefore returned to France, in 1632.
Oliver le Jeune may have had other owners, but he was last bought by Father Paul le Jeune and then given to one of Nouvelle-France first colonists, perhaps the first, Guillaume Couillard (see Bessière and Slavery in Canada, Wikipedia).
Guillaume Couillard, figure au monument Louis-Hébert, parc Montmorency, Québec (Wikipedia)
New France did not have large plantations requiring an enormous work force. It was a semi-feudal society consisting of Seigneuries, long and narrow tracts of land located on both sides of the St Lawrence river. It was owned by the Compagnie des Cent-Associés, the Company of a Hundred Associates, who had a monopoly over the fur-trade. Finally, Black slaves were too expensive for ordinary colonists.
“The company was closely controlled by Richelieu, and was given sweeping authority over trade and colonization in all of New France, a territory that encompassed all of Acadia, Canada, Newfoundland, and French Louisiana. Management was entrusted to twelve directors.” (See Slavery in Canada, Wikipedia)
Consequently, the Black slaves of New France were domestic servants. Moreover, most of the colonists of New France were poor. In Philippe-Aubert de Gaspé‘s 1863 Les Anciens Canadiens (The Canadians of Old), a male Ethiopian is mentioned. Jules d’Haberville’s father was a Seigneur. But to return to Olivier le Jeune, it is believed the child was manumitted (freed) by the Couillard family. He died in 1654.
According to Afua Cooper, author of The Hanging of Angélique: The Untold Story of Canadian Slavery and the Burning of Old Montréal, “enslaved First Nations people outnumbered enslaved individuals of African descent, under French rule. She attributed this to the relative ease with which New France could acquire First Nations slaves. She noted that the mortality of slaves was high, with the average age of First Nations slaves only 17, and the average age of slaves of African descent, 25.”
The Seigneurial System
Farmers, later called cultivateurs, were given thirty acres of land. They paid their rente to their Seigneur and their dîme, to their curés, the parish priest. Their was a Chemin du Roy, but the river was the highway. It linked Quebec-city, Trois-Rivières and the island of Montréal. Under the Seigneurial System, farmers did the work.
The Code Noir, which regulated enslavement in the French colonial empire, was promulgated by Louis XIV, in 1685. The first Code Noir was written by Colbert, but it was amended. It stressed that slaves had to be Catholics or convert to Catholicism. In 1689, New France was granted permission to enslave Blacks. But New France’s slaves were mostly Amerindians, all of whom were called Panis, whether or not they belonged to the Pawnee people. New France had very few slaves in the 17th century, but their numbers grew in the 18th century.
It would be difficult to determine how many Panis were given by Amerindian friends to the citizens of New France and how many were taken by colonists. However, no one can dispute that most slaves in New France were Amerindians rather than Blacks. Slavery and racism can be linked, but Amerindians had Amerindian slaves. Slavery has existed since time immemorial, but the Blacks of New France were owned by Whites. The transatlantic slave trade was human trafficking. It is a practice that has yet to end. La traite des Blanches, white slavery, was/is also human trafficking, and racism cannot be excluded.
I have noted that given Canada’s harsh climate, survival is a keyword in both the history New France and English-speaking. In other words, the French, fur traders in particular, depended on Amerindians: birch bark canoes, snowshoes, remedies. Jacques Cartier, Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Monts and his nagivator, Samuel de Champlain, were provided with thuja occidentalis, when their men were dying of scurvy. As for North America’s natives, they were not immune to certain European illnesses, such as smallpox, a devastating illness.
1876 portrait of Gobineau by the Comtesse de la Tour (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)
Slavery vs Racism
Slavery may or may not be racist. However, enslavement is an extreme form of humiliation. So persons who have been slaves may be viewed as inferior.
However unsavoury Arthur de Gobineau’ writings, he is associated with Scientific Racism. The 19th century is the birthplace of sociology and related disciplines. Charles Darwin (12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) developed the science of evolution. His ideas were shocking to many, but more scientific than Gobineau’s who thought the Black race was an inferior race.
The Disappearance of Indigenous Women
At the moment, the disappearance of aboriginal women in Canada is alarming.
“The issue gained increased awareness and attention after Amnesty International published Stolen Sisters: A Human Rights Response to Violence and Discrimination against Indigenous Women in Canada (2004) and No More Stolen Sisters (2009). Research conducted by the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) established a database of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. In 2011, the NWAC database included 582 known cases, most of which had occurred between 1990 and 2010.” (The Canadian Encyclopedia)
The Hanging of Angélique
Marie-Josèphe dite Angélique is Canada’s most famous slave. Marie Josèphe, was a Portuguese slave brought to New England by a Flemish owner who sold her to a Montreal Seigneur, François Poulin de Francheville. When he died, his wife Thérèse de Couagne de Francheville decided to sell Marie-Josèphe to a Quebec City owner. Fearing she would lose the man she loved, an indentured servant whose name was Claude Thibault, the two escaped but were returned to Madame de Francheville, Thérèse de Couagne.
Marie-Joseph-Angélique, (Photo credit: The Dictionary of Canadian Biography)
While she was absent, Thérèse de Couagne’s house was destroyed in a fire that spread to a large part of Old Montreal, including l’Hôtel-Dieu, a hospital. Marie-Josèphe was accused of arson. She was a runaway slave. She had run away with Claude Thibault who had been jailed and released. He disappeared. Marie-Josèphe was tried and convicted of arson. She was to be tortured, make amends (amende honorable), and be burned alive. The five-year old daughter of Alexis Monière, Amable, claimed she saw Marie-Josèphe- Angélique transporting coal. Marie-Josèphe-Angélique was tortured and hanged on 21 June 1734.
“The Hanging of Angélique: The Untold Story of Canadian Slavery and the Burning of Old Montréal”
Marie Josèphe’s guilt was questioned by Denyse Beaugrand-Champagne in a book published in 2004. The fire may have started elsewhere. Two years later, in 2006, Dr Afua Cooper, PhD, who was born in Jamaica and is a faculty member at Dalhousie University, in Halifax, published The Hanging of Angélique: The Untold Story of Canadian Slavery and the Burning of Old Montréal. According to Dr Cooper, Marie-Josèphe did set fire to her owner’s house, thus rebelling against her condition: slavery. (See Marie-Joseph Angélique, Wikipedia.)
In Lower Canada (Quebec), Sir James Monk, who could not abolish slavery, “rendered a series of decisions in the late 1790s that undermined the ability to compel slaves to serve their masters…” (See Slavery in Canada, Wikipedia). Later, Sir James Kempt refused a request to return a black slave to the United States. In practice, slavery had ended in Lower Canada.
There is racism in Canada, including Quebec, but I do not know whether it is “systemic.” The French in Québec, the former Lower Canada, have concentrated on preserving their language. Bill 21 (secularization) led to demonstrations.
I’ve been away for a long time. I had to attend to various little duties and I remain very sad. So many have died and they are mostly older people, the poor, the black, the homeless. Covid-19 does not discriminate, but too many victims had no shelter or false shelters.
For my part, an old injury resurfaced: ulcers. I also remembered my mother teaching us that death, God Himself, came in the night, like a thief, and took us away. Vigilance was necessary. We prayed before going to bed, but all I had to ask God was to wait another day. Asking for more would burden Him. Scheherazade told the first part of a tale that so intrigued the king that he let her live another day to hear the remainder. He didn’t kill her until the story had been told in full. Centuries later, perhaps millennia, a little child in Quebec prayed so her death would be postponed by one more day.
As you can see, Covid-19 has taken its toll on me. Why am I thinking that death will take me in the middle of the night? That feeling is best described as archaic, but we die.
Today’s big debate in Quebec and the rest of Canada is whether and when to reopen schools. Life at home with the children may be too difficult. In theory, schools were to reopen on Monday, May 4th, but although governments have a duty to provide children with an education, reopening was postponed until May 19th , but the government will not demand that parents send their children to school. Reopening may again be postponed. The virus is still active and remains lethal in too many cases. Viruses run their course and find epicenters. The State of New York and New York city were the United States’ epicenter. I hope therefore that United States President Trump will bail out the State of New York. In Canada, Quebec was targeted and Montreal was Covid-19’s epicenter. All one could do was create rules of engagement: washing one’s hand, distancing, wearing a mask and locking down infested areas.
We have learned, however, that long-term care facilities could not cope with this new reality. One could not distance patients or residents so, the staff of these homes were overwhelmed. Many walked out for fear of catching an easily transmissible virus.
We have also learned that certain populations were more vulnerable than others. The old are at risk, but also the black. Scientists have therefore begun studying vulnerability. I quoted Dr. Vinh-Kim Nguyen in my last post. (See RELATED ARTICLE) Dr Vinh-Kim Nguyen has been studying Aids/Sida, and his regional area of expertise is West Africa (see Dr Vinh-Kim Nguyen). Studying regions, populations, and the origin of a pathogen is legitimate. Other scientists study the benefits and harm attached to confinement.
Canada’s top doctor, Dr Theresa Tam is continuing to focus on her work, despite allegations of conspiracy with China. Determining the origin of the outbreak is necessary, but accusing Dr Theresa Tam of conspiracy with China smacks of racism. Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland has defended Dr Tam.
One of the good news is that an antibody could prevent infections. This is progress. But we are dealing with the novel coronavirus. It is a new virus and it may have infected people months before its breakout in Wuhan.
It has been noted that the poor are at risk. Montreal’s outbreak has affected the residents of Montreal-North. Its residents are poor. They do not have computers, cell phones. In short, they did not have access and protective garments (PPE). Finding masks, gloves and shields, PPE, has bedeviled the pandemic, but it killed the poor and the homeless. Shame on us.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford is calling for a national policy on contact tracing, even at this point. Had such a policy been put into place at an early date, it would have lessened the severity of the pandemic. But it seems we were all caught by surprise.
However, testing is slow, which is the main problem. Had it worked immediately, the Spartan cube could have helped determine who was infected and who wasn’t. This would have benefited the economy. However, the Spartan Cube has not proven as reliable “in person” as it did in a lab. Adjustments have to be made. This is a sign of the times. Covid-19 is a new virus and we were not prepared when it hit.
Both Doug Ford, Ontario’s Premier and François Legault, Quebec’s premier, hesitate to lift the lockdown. It could backfire, so everyone is worried.
There is some validity to the notion of herd immunity, but there can be no doubt that self isolating and distancing have spared countless lives. It is as in Giovanni Boccacci’s Decameron. Therefore, Premiers Doug Ford of Ontario and François Legault of Quebec are not pushing people back to work. They are testing, and testing, and testing, but cannot test everyone.
I believe this is my last post on the pandemic. It tested us and researchers will have much to study. I have in fact discovered areas of learning. Our top doctors are the heroes of the day. Dr Bonnie Henry of British Columbia looks very tired, but women want to purchase the shoes she wears. Premiers Doug Ford and François Legault joined hands in battling a common enemy that has yet to be defeated. There may be a second and a third wave. I expect changes in many sectors.
If the above numbers are accurate, I live in the province of Canada that is home to half the confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the country.
The WHO (World Health Organisation) warned of a potential pandemic at the very end of 2019.
Dr Li Wenliang died on 7 February 2020.
Dr Li Wenliang
As soon as Dr Li Wenliang died, we knew. At that point, North-Americans needed to find the persons who had been in the immediate proximity of the first victims and test them. In other words, medical experts should have been mobilized. It didn’t happen. I need not remind anyone that President Trump reassured Americans. Yet, the time had come to test Americans and forbid the young from spending the March break on beaches and partying. Dr Jerome Adams, the surgeon general of the United States, has stated that Covid-19 was spread mainly by the young. Many Quebecers travel to Florida during the March break.
If an extremely dangerous and unknown virus surfaces, doctors must guide leaders. I read in theWashington Post, that Americans were organizing to map out a strategy the President cannot put forward. There are times when democracy fails us. The plan is to test the population and have the healthy occupy positions formerly held by persons who have fallen ill many of whom have yet to recover or have died, and other positions. There is a healthy population and there are experts: doctors, chemists, and economists. They and elected officials must work together.
No, we cannot count on Mr Trump. He is not qualified to deal with this matter, but the United States has other leaders and it has experts.
In other words, Quebec and other North-Americans have to find people who can keep the population safe and the economy afloat. We have to test people. Many of us are healthy and can work.
I have heard libertarians scream: this is a “free country.” Well, there is freedom and then there is freedom. No one is free to infect other persons. As I have written in several posts and taught my students, one’s freedom ends where the freedom of others begin and expertise overrides uneducated popularity.
I’m not suggesting mutiny and revenge. Violence is out of the question. I am simply sharing what I read in theWashington Post. But I would like to see fine and qualified human beings make sure that
the sick are sequestered and treated,
that a force is making sure doctors and other health professionals are fully protected,
Last night, I read that there were 3,977 confirmed and presumptive cases of coronavirus in Canada. Quebec leads Canada at 1,629 cases (MSN).
In the meantime, I am having difficulty renewing my PC fees of approximately $50. My credit card (Mastercard) will not pay. Yet, there is money to pay.
Allow me to say that, unfortunately, Quebec is not the best of environments. I have noted considerable defiance. Leaders should seek stability and security. For instance, in 1982, the Premier of Quebec, René Lévesque, refused to sign the Constitution. Yet, no referendum had given the Quebec government a mandate to secede. We must act in an orderly fashion.
I don’t know what is going on, but I live carefully, I have good neighbours, my nephew, François, and my dear friend Paulina. We phone and send emails. I also have my fine colleagues at WordPress.