Mr. Richard Martineau is right: The Globe & Mail editorial on Québec’s Bill 21 sucks

Further below is a translation of the article by Mr. Martineau entitled “A stain on Canada”.

Before, here is the link to the original editorial in the Globe & Mail:

“Do you think the debate on Bill 21 is over?

Do you think that the federal campaign is behind us and that we will finally be able to turn the page and move on?

Sorry, but I have bad news for you: it’s just beginning.

A poison text

On Monday, The Globe and Mail, the largest and most influential newspaper in the country, considered by many to be the thermometer of the Canadian left, published a devastating editorial on Bill 21.

This is not a comment, an opinion piece or a chronicle, which is binding its author only.

Rather, this is an editorial, which represents the point of view of a newspaper.

Of all the negative texts that have been written about Bill 21, it is by far the most ferocious and enraged.

According to The Globe and Mail, Jagmeet Singh, Andrew Sheer and Justin Trudeau dishonored themselves by not condemning the “odious” Bill 21 during the electoral campaign.

“This opportunistic betrayal of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was only a cynical strategy to win seats in Québec,” it says.

“The leaders of the NDP, the Conservative Party and the Liberal Party have turned their backs on vulnerable populations, leaving the Québec government trampling on their most fundamental rights.

Bill 21 is a blot on Canada and Québec. It prevents people, even people who are born, raised and educated here in Canada, from teaching, becoming police officers, judges or prosecutors, and from holding a variety of jobs in the public service sector in Québec. “

(There is neither a mention of the “grandfather” clause, which allows existing public servants to keep their religious sign, nor of the fact that Bill 21 only applies to officials in positions of authority. Bof, as they say in English: Never let the facts get in the way of a good story).

“The victims of Bill 21 do not need friends who show up to court years later. They need those who sit in the federal Parliament to recognize that something very ugly and very unfair is happening right now in Québec, and that they find the political courage to confront this Bill that everyone with eyes sees as discriminatory. “

A national shame

A reminder to the readers: this text is not any insignificant letter to the editor published in an obscure weekly. It is rather an Editorial published in the most important daily newspaper in our country.

The newspaper that foreigners may read, if they wish to take the pulse of Canada.

Nevertheless, and at least, this text has the merit of being clear: for the Canadian media elite, Bill 21 is a national shame that must be fought tooth and nail.

It does not matter if it was adopted by a democratically elected government and if 70% of Québecers support it.

Canada cannot accept such a Bill on its territory.

It is more or less an open declaration of war. A peaceful war, of course. It is still a war though, make no mistake.

The most influential newspaper in the country is asking the federal government to fight a provincial Bill that was passed – with popular support – by a democratically elected government!

And some still find that we have our place in this country?”

Dropping prayer from a Remembrance Day ceremony: Is this woke, mean, or… just silly?

Bambi cannot go to sleep without taking the time to quickly comment on the following CBC article she read earlier today. It means a lot for her to do so:

Year after year, we see respect toward our veterans eroded a little bit more.

Since when a prayer is not “inclusive” by definition?

A prayer is all about spirituality.

Spirituality is a moment (or a longer journey) of inner peace, of hope, of gratitude, of love, and of communion with others.

Whether we believe in God, in Gods or Goddesses, or not at all, this prayer is meant to provide us with a sense of peace, a moment of reflection, a connection with the past for a better future, a communion with our inner selves, with human beings, with nature, with the creator if we believe/want to believe or if we just take the time to respect.

Most importantly, such prayer (whether silent or filled with wise words) is our traditional way of pausing to honour those who have served and survived as well as those who lost their lives whilst serving.

It is also an indirect way of saying thank you and for asking for the protection of those risking their lives to make our world safer, more peaceful, and freer, etc.

Last weekend, in a different town, at a workshop meant for families, Bambi promised family members organizing/hosting the public outreach event to take the time in her welcoming words to pause to honour three individuals who took their lives in the past weeks in this community (after losing their battle with mental health).

The whole audience of families, staff, physicians, and clinicians closed their eyes with Bambi for a minute of silence. This brief, silent pause was also meant to send positive vibes to families and friends in their grief journey.

No one felt offended or triggered. No one questioned the relevance of the gesture.

Last year, at another public event in our own town, one of the invited speakers was from a First Nations community. She asked Bambi if she can say a prayer (mind you, she did not ask to recognize the land). Bambi’s answer was: “Of course. Please do so!”

At the end of the event, Bambi asked this colleague if she wishes to close the event with a prayer. This colleague asked another speaker to do so. This is how it was spontaneously done.

The spiritual circle was closed.

Again, no one felt offended or triggered. No one questioned the relevance.

So. how can we be so unwell in our current society to the point of cutting all the bridges with whom we are, with our history, and with the transmission of traditions and memories to our children?

George Santayana said it so well: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”.

How sad all this, to say the least.

How insulting to our veterans and to the memory of our ancestors and loved ones.

Indeed, such a ceremony is also a sort of tribute to the values our veterans defended to allow us to live peacefully and in freedom.

Ironically, there are many people around the world (ie. in Lebanon for sure!) who are dreaming to have a beautiful country like Canada or… to immigrate to it.

Thus, to come back to the CBC article, as a sad conclusion to this post, Bambi thinks that one reader’s comment summarizes the situation well in one single word: “Garbage”.

Two videos by Die Deutsche Welle News: “Why Lebanon protests are continuing after Prime Minister Hariri’s resignation” & “Lebanon protests explained”?

Die Deutsche Welle

Regardless of the outcome of this revolt journey, perhaps for the first time of their history, Lebanese people did not blame neither external powers nor the overburden from 1-2 millions of refugees (nor anything else).

Instead, they have blamed their failed political system (all these politicians they have either elected, re-elected, or found themselves stuck with since the “end” of civil war).

For this, bravo to the people of Lebanon. They have tried to force their politicians to do some introspection (for those capable of it) in order to be accountable to them.

UNITED in their demonstrations across all major cities and smaller villages, they have all waved Lebanese flags ONLY, not just on the streets but also on their social media platforms (i.e., their beloved WhatsApp included :)).

Perhaps their demand of a caretaker government (until future elections) is naive given the vicious external forces and the internal loyalty of some for such or such regional powers?

Regardless of the outcome of this deep crisis, Lebanese people can sleep on their pillows, or in their temporary tents on the streets, with peace of mind and pride.

They have dared to dream a new Lebanon!

They have learned the (survival) value of unity.

They had the courage to demand accountability.

They are questioning sectarianism.

They are not dump. To use the expression of Mr. Pierre Haski (French journalist), “they know they are sitting on a top of a volcano, after PM Hariri’s resignation”:

May their inspiring unity protect them in the next stages of Lebanon’s history, regardless of the outcome.

Demonstrators attacked by Hezbollah & Amal supporters, Prime Minister Hariri resigns an hour later, & demonstrators back to Beirut downtown

Prime Minister Hariri resigned:

Here is an article published by the CBC:

From L’Orient Le Jour
From L’Orient Le Jour

Bambi’s nephew was right there, attending one of his university’s lectures at the site of the demonstration (perhaps under one of these tents. Who knows?!). Thank Goodness he left the place a few moments before the horrible violent attacks that were luckily widely condemned.

From L’Orient Le Jour

NO to violence!! And NO to government corruption!

Yes to democracy. Yes to a reborn Lebanon where people live in peace, respect, freedom, prosperity, love, and fun.

No more wars (civil or other), no more deceptions (internal or external), and no more stupid governance.

Sectarianism has failed, period. The people of Lebanon do not want to be divided in tribes, in groups (religious, political, and what have you).

They want a UNITED Lebanon. They = We = Bambi… We are ALL aching with you Lebanon, whether we “live in you” or “you live in us”, as one Moncton resident said so well at the Moncton Lebanese Association support gathering the other day.

Lebanese revolt is against corruption. It is about political change, not climate change

First of all, thank you to the CBC for all the other articles on Lebanon or the supporting demonstrations across Canada.

This being said, the article below by the CBC is not only somehow ridiculous toward its end but it is also rather insulting to the protests occurring in Lebanon (and likely in those in the other parts of the world):

There is a limit in wanting to link everything to climate change.

If we breath, it is due to climate change. If we stop breathing, it is climate change.

Soon, they will tell us that hot flashes in women transitioning toward menopause result from climate change ?.

To come back to the CBC article in question, it seems to be arguing for a link between movements of people who are struggling to make ends meet (e.g., the yellow vests movement in France or like a country’s population on the streets in Lebanon) with those orchestrated and endless Friday climate strikes where school kids and vulnerable teens have been shamelessly used or even abused.

Of course, Bambi wrote the above acknowledging that many adult and youth climate protestors have genuine ecological concerns. If that is truly the case, good for them and thanks! However, logically, we can imagine that many kids may be excited by skipping classes more than anything else.

Mind you, MANY of the Lebanese protestors also have a remarkable ecological mindset. They clean after the protests every day. They also want accountability on the environmental front. For that, bravo to them too!

There was sadly an ecological disaster in Lebanon (103 fires who were mishandled, it seems).

This tragedy may have precipitated the revolution in Lebanon (the trigger was the WhatsApp tax story, along with a continuously increasing TVA tax, it seems). As a result, people got mad at ALL their politicians.

So no, sorry CBC or other Canadian media, the Lebanese revolt has NOTHING to do with the “global climate change”, to use the CBC article’s words.  

It is rather AGAINST corruption. The latter is 100% man-made. It is also Lebanon’s local problem that its people would like to see fixed.

Saying that their mass revolt is related to climate change is insulting not only to the intelligence but also to the courage of the people of Lebanon on the streets.

They are all courageously insisting on their government’s fall. They are simply aspiring for a better political (+ social) system in their country to replace its failed sectarian system.

People seem to be dreaming of a political system that is accountable and perhaps even finally secular!?

This means a system where competence (i.e., a competition based on competence only) will make an individual earn this or that public position.

A system where no one is a holy leader (“zaim” or “rayess”, etc.) because of his/her sect.

A system were decisions are taken in the best interests of the people. All the people.

A system where people can vote for anyone and not just for candidates from select lists, etc.

A system where all those old politicians from the civil war era will leave to let more competent ones be elected.

A system where everyone is for the country (like the Lebanese anthem) and the country is for all.

A system where people (especially younger ones) do not have to immigrate miles away to earn a living!   

Clearly, people are fed up of the useless status quo.  

For now, the politicians in power seem to be totally disconnected from ALL the people on the streets… A quarter of the population though!

A (real) change seems imminent. This may be Lebanon’s historic chance for a real change.

It is now or never… but will that change take place? Will we allow it to happen? And if not, what would happen instead? How will all this end?

Again, all the best to Lebanon. May peace and prosperity know how to prevail.

CNN: Exclusive interview with the Lebanese Central Bank Governor Riad Salame

“A political solution is needed within days to avoid economic collapse “, according to the Lebanese Central Bank Governor Riad Salame.

Can life transitions teach us how to let go of the pain to move on?

Bambi would like to quickly comment on the following CBC article about Ms. Masuma Khan:

Bravo & congratulations to Ms. Masuma Khan for graduating.

Congratulations to Dalhousie University too because Ms. Masuma Khan graduated.

Dalhousie University should have NOT disciplined her for what she has written on her Facebook or twitter accounts. Clearly, this was against freedom of speech!

Bambi says this, even if at the time she found this former student’s comments shockingly vulgar (with her famous “white fragility can kiss my ass”). It was not only vulgar but also disrespectful to a whole community… and country on its 150th birthday celebrations.

Of course, Bambi understands Ms. Khan’s over-zealous activism for indigenous rights whilst recognizing her noble intentions… BUT without endorsing her radicalism.  

This being said, Bambi thinks that Ms. Khan should not forget that a university administrator was fired in the process… whilst she stayed.

Not only she stayed… She became an untouchable icon in the Canadian society (we can guess why).

The university has now expressed its apparently sincere regrets, even if on social media.

It is about time for Ms. Khan to begin to learn to forgive in order to let go.

Bambi wishes that this vocal, and surely talented, young lady will learn to wisely turn the page to focus on her new position and personal life (outside of academia). She wishes her all the best!

Sadly, when Ms. Khan came to Sackville a while ago, Bambi was unable to attend her talk. She heard that she was a great speaker. Bambi had a burning question for her then… she still has it now:

Ms. Khan, how would you react if someone tells you: “Muslim fragility can kiss my ass”? Would you accept it?

Bambi is (still) curious.

Once again, and regardless of Ms. Khan’s answer to such question, our words are not innocent. They have weight. Why don’t we use them wisely?

A bit like their traditional “Dabke” dance, all UNITED in their peaceful revolution, hand in hand, a human Lebanese chain across over 171 coastal roads from the North to the South of the country!

In English:

In French:

Taken from La Presse

Way to go to the Lebanese people, young and old, all UNITED like that, insisting on accountability and saying enough (of corruption) is enough! The country wants to live in dignity and in peace, in love and in hope!


After this post was published, someone sent Bambi this video :):

ICYMI Lebanon

ICYMI | Polly Boiko | Lebanon’s party protest – Dissent, DJs and Baby Shark.Protests are raging in countries across the world, but few are doing it in as much style as Lebanon, where a quarter of the nation has hit the streets.Amid calls for the entire government to step down, after years of economic incompetence and allegations of corruption, the protesters are trying to make the best of it.Djs have turned the demos into open air nightclubs, children have been entertained by renditions of Baby Shark, oh, and tires have been set alight. It is a protest, after all. ICYMI takes a look.#Lebanon #PollyBoiko #Politics #MiddleEast #BabyShark #babyshark #peaceinthemiddleeast #DJ #party #housemusic #saadhariri

Posted by ICYMI on Friday, October 25, 2019

Below is another video on the human chain by Euronews (in French).

The countrywide mass revolt in Lebanon against its government’s corruption continues

“Mabrouk” (= Congrats!) to the bride & groom, celebrating their union in the middle of the Lebanese revolution on the street!

Malake Alaywe Herz & Mohammed got married on Day 7 of the mass protests in Lebanon,  by Mohammed Yassine, from L’Orient Le Jour

Below is a moving picture and a video of a Lebanese soldier with tears in his eyes, touched by the demonstrators’ expression of patriotism and pacifism (chanting the Lebanese anthem)!

From L’Orient Le Jour

The video now (moving material here):

Another moving scene, from Naharnet
Day 7, from L’Orient Le Jour
No clue what they are all looking at…. Surely not at this demonstrator who is also looking at the same direction ?. From BBC

Here is a video of medical residents/physicians at Saint George Hospital, in Beirut, Lebanon (the healthcare centre near the apartment of Bambi’s parents):

Some even danced on the streets.

Taken from an anonymous video online; What a great dancer! Note: the text in Arabic means: “This man told his wife this morning that he was going to the construction site”

Even the rain did not stop people.

There is also an organized daily clean-up. Here is a picture of two kids cleaning with their mom!

Unknown source

Last but not least, here is a picture of the Christian religious leaders. All united in their support of the people’s revolt, which is an outcry for a dignified life!

Meeting of all the Christian leaders, from L’Orient Le Jour
A powerful message of support by the Metropolitan Bishop of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch for the Archdiocese of Beirut, Lebanon (Arabic content)

What will happen to Lebanon? Only time will tell.

Today, Washington declared that it understands the Lebanese people in their demands.

So did France earlier, asking the Lebanese authorities to respect the protestors’ right to demonstrate.

What will the President of the Lebanese Republic do or say tomorrow at noon (Beirut time)? Indirectly, what will the Hezbollah say or do… or not do?

The Lebanese army will be in a tough position if it will be asked to stop the protestors, as they tried to do today, it seems.

Clearly, people seem not to fear a political vacuum. They went through one recently for over a period of two years. The country survived and kept moving forward (or backward?), even without a President (and/or a government?).

To conclude this post, people do not trust their politicians anymore. All the politicians. PERIOD.

As the slogan/song of this revolt goes: “Thawara yiwne thawra…. “Killoun yiwne killoon”. This literally means: “A revolution means a revolution. All of them means all of them” (= loss of trust in all politicians). All of them must step down or go away…. but go where? No clue. Who cares now?

Wow–At the exact time of concluding this post, that was the song playing on a radio station called “Mount Lebanon” from LA (USA) that Bambi enjoys listening to whilst working (no commercial ads, just joyful Lebanese music).

End of Day 7. Tomorrow is a new dawn…

May the light of political wisdom, honesty, and economic prosperity shine on Lebanon at the end of this revolt process.

May the ghost of any violence fade away and let Lebanon just rise again from the ashes of poverty and despair like the phoenix that it has always been!