France24: “Keeping a ‘fragile’ peace on Lebanon’s border with Israel”

As per France24: “Stationed in Lebanon for more than 40 years, the UN’s blue helmets work to preserve a fragile peace along the border with Israel. Since the 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel, the border area has enjoyed a period of relative calm, one which UNIFIL [United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon] hopes to maintain. But just a few weeks away from the renewal of its mandate, the UN force is facing criticism on multiple fronts”.

What the above means is the following: Regular citizens across the border, especially in Lebanon, appreciate the UNIFL presence. They are grateful. They are fed up of armed conflicts and wars.

Countries that decide the fate of people either want to see it disappear or be much limited.

Other influential countries (USA, Israel) perhaps prefer to see it play a more aggressive role in protecting the “blue line”, which is the name of the border between Lebanon and Israel (the latter may be perhaps not part of the UNIFL mission or essence).

A powerful militia in Lebanon (does it need to be named?) wants it to remain limited in its surveillance capacity in order to keep being unaccountable, serving the interests of an influential regional power (Iran) or strictly/selfishly interested in its own survival, to the point of hiding behind Lebanon’s official institutions whilst ignoring their country’s best interests.

Here are some recent data on the UNIFL mission in Lebanon. Historically, as mentioned in the documentary above, Norway has been a large contributor of Blue Helmets, as well as all the countries mentioned in the two reference below: For instance, Italy, Ireland, France, Nepal, Brazil, Ghana, India, China, etc.

Regardless of the politics and of the outcome in August, 2020, Bambi would like to say thank you to UNIFL for contributing to stability and peace in Lebanon.

Thanks to all the daily sacrifices of the Blue Helmets, living away from their own families and countries of origins. This may be harder in the middle of a pandemic where they may be worried about the health/safety of their own loved ones.

As per the France24 title of its documentary, peace is indeed “fragile” ☹.

It is our responsibility all of us, individually and collectively, to give peace a chance (of survival). This is even more critical in a world, that is becoming increasingly hostile… and insane.

Many citizens, academics included, do not buy into the latest fashion of “systemic racism”. Some expressed themselves in an open letter. Why doesn’t the CBC tell us about it?

Quickly, Bambi would like to discuss the following CBC article entitled “Academic says universities too worried about bad PR to deal with systemic racism”:

First, the CBC article above is incomplete if it does not mention an open letter by Dr. Haskell and Dr. McNall, in response to their Wilfrid Laurier President, Dr. Deb MacLatchy, claiming that her institution suffers from “systemic racism”. You can read this excellent letter here:

Second, Dr. Kofi Campbell, Vice-President Academic and Dean of Renison University College, featured in the CBC article today wrote about this topic in May, 2020:

Last but not the least, merit–AND merit ONLY–is what should matter the most in a hiring process, whether it is for a private company or for a university.

In its aspiration for more justice, Canada must not get into the trap of quotas, as Lebanon has sadly done with religious affiliations.

Canada can ensure equality of opportunities for all (winning conditions of success) without falling into the trap of thinking that equality of career outcomes is desirable or realistic.

We do not do a favour to people of a certain minority by letting them think (or letting us think) that they earned their position because of quotas and not of merit.   

Bambi is convinced of the above, especially after seeing the outcome of a quota-based system: Sectarianism failed everyone in the Lebanese public and semi-public sectors.

There too, initially, the idea was meant to be a noble and fair one to citizens from all their diverse groups. Despite this, the quota-based system failed the whole Lebanese society.

It is ironic that the people of Lebanon are increasingly denouncing such system whilst some in Canada seem to want to make us move into this direction.

Bambi thought that she has left this behind when she immigrated to Canada ☹.

Why is the Canada of 2020 pushing for such a change now?

Why is Mr. Trudeau distributing “our” money ($300M) to global organizations like “Global Citizen”?

Did Trudeau ask us if we want to pledge this money with our tax money?

Where is this money going?

Why doesn’t it remain here in our Canadian communities without drinkable water and without appropriate housing (i.e., some first nations’ reserves)?

Will our government ask for transparency from entities abroad where “our” money is going?

Bambi is saying this and her own birth country is struggling to survive (e.g., she heard stories of people stealing food from houses, not iPads and not computers; Others are selling their shoes and clothes to get diapers or milk for their kids).

Yet, she finds it odd that such large amount of money is being pledged without any discussion.

Politicians in her birth country stole public money (some of it likely as international donations). Lebanese banks that lent money to the government were penalized, when the country went bankrupt. Guess from whom money was taken? From peoples’ bank accounts!

Will this Global Citizen organization require transparency from countries where this money is going?

Bambi voted for Mr. Trudeau the first time. Sadly, he removed this transparency act that his predecessor required here in our Canada. So, it is hard to imagine that Trudeau will be asking for some transparency abroad… If so, he will surprise Bambi and she will change her mind about this topic.

Why is Mr. Trudeau encouraging all this? Is he genuine here? Or is he aspiring to become the next UN Secretary General ??

Mr. Trudeau, you are generous, which is a virtue… But please be so with your own money, not ours!

Sackville, please keep our RCMP police station

Thank you to the New Wark Times for the following article:

Local Sackville citizens know that our last municipal police force was corrupt (i.e., kids of officers selling drugs to youth). Bambi heard this in 2008 when she first moved to our town and kept hearing it by different local people over the years.

The story above played a role into the decision to bring the RCMP police to Sackville, NB.

In other municipalities (e.g., Miramichi in NB and Amherst, NS), municipal police forces also do an excellent job, just like our RCMP here in Sackville.

For instance, Bambi knows women who have been protected in stories of domestic violence. She also knows women and men who benefited from the security provided by local police. Security/support that has been inspiring to witness, especially in times where we have heard about RCMP-related tragedies in the media ☹ . Luckily, all of them are being investigated, in addition to the federal parliamentary committee looking into allegations of “systemic racism”.

Thanks to the RCMP in our town, some foster children/youth have had the wonderful opportunity to get a training in baby sitting, with local youth. For everyone, and especially to youth at risk, it is necessary to have positive role models in life. We are lucky to have devoted officers in our community.

NB youth at risk elsewhere in our province (e.g., Miramichi Police Force) also benefit from community programs such as the ‘Kids “N” Kops’, which is “a joint initiative of Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the Miramichi Police Force and has been held each summer for 14 years”. As a clinician, researcher, and foster parent, Bambi has collaborated with police services, in the context of youth with disruptive behaviour, in more than on jurisdiction, including NB, and she is impressed by the latter:

To come back to the RCMP, what Bambi likes about our federal police is that its mandate is just for 5 years in each location across our country.

The above, although tough when we want to build a family, is meant to help prevent local corruption. It would be perhaps informative to assess this aspect of the policing job. Bambi does not know if this has been officially conducted. If so, what can we learn from the data?

We surely need to investigate all the tragic stories by RCMP and/or other police forces, including the NS tragedy nearby ☹ and, of course, each of the latest tragic cases in NB. Luckily, this is being done by an independent entity. Best wishes for answers fast as families, communities, police force, municipalities (and all of us!) deserve the truth, for closure and to efficiently prevent similar tragedies in the future.

In sum, in NB, Bambi had AN EXCELLENT police service, as a citizen AND as a foster parent. Some stories could have turned into sad end results or even into tragedies (including violent ones). Thanks to our RCMP, everyone involved was safe and sound.

This is why, according to Bambi (citizen, foster parent), the decision to bring the RCMP to Sackville was and keeps being a wise decision. Personally, she hopes we will keep benefiting from having the RCMP in our town!

A tweet by Mr. Mathieu Bock-Côté as food for thought

Like Mr. Mathieu Bock-Côté, Bambi refuses to fit limited identities (e.g., BIPOC or “Black, Indigeneous, and People of Coulour” or whatever other funny trendy acronyms… even if it is “deer of colour” ?).

She is just a deer. Period.

You can call her an immigrant, if you wish, because she is a first-generation immigrant (for over 30 years now).

Most importantly to her, she is a proud Canadian. She will remain proud… even if our society “succeeds” in destroying both its common sense and unity, with much ideology and less substance.

Bambi is a deer as well as a human being (yes it can happen!) who is Canadian, whilst being a New Brunswicker. She is also a Québecker who happens to also be Lebanese (with much pride of both!). Thus, she is also Arab (with tenderness, especially that the Arab world is in its darkest period of time ever)/Middle-Eastern, and Mediterranean (she is biased she knows… for her, the latter remains the most beautiful sea of the world, excluding our Atlantic ocean for sure ?).

All those trendy categories or sub-categories Bambi refuses to be re-assigned into, just like Mr. Bock-Côté (e.g., white, black, brown, yellow, etc.).

How can we succeed in truly respecting, and even embracing, others’ identity/ies if we do not have enough self-knowledge of/self-respect for our own identity/ies?

Thanks to Mr. Bock-Côté for describing to us the “absolute toxicity” of the “2020 identity reassignment”, to use his own words (an English translation is followed by the original tweet):

Identity reassignment 2020

The new dominant ideology: I have seen myself as a Québecer, placing the French language at the heart of his collective identity and a historical adventure of four centuries. I learn that I am only a “white man”, and that apparently the colour of my skin is more important than my language, my culture, and my history. I must dissociate myself from the history of Québec and make myself united with the history of English Canada and the British Empire, due to skin colour. I finally learn that if I refuse this forced reassignment of identity, which uproots me in addition to abolishing my memory to racialize me, I fall into racism and colonialism. In other words, because I refuse to let myself be mentally colonized by the American imaginary, I would thus reveal my overall complicity with “white” colonisalism.

All of this becomes absolutely toxic.”

Thank goodness some provinces are pushing back ideological insanities

We used to be told that those who do not turn “climate change” into a religion are deniers of “science”… but which science are we talking about?

Now, we are told that those who do not see “systemic racism” everywhere are deniers of racism… because they are racist. We do not even mention the science anymore. No time for that. We establish the conclusions before the facts. This is it and we should agree… If we don’t, we are racist.

We are not being told anything about the definition of this so-called “systemic racism”. We just need to admit that it exists and then agree with whatever actions being demanded in its name.

Does that make any sense? Perhaps to some human beings in Canada, in the States, and around the world… but surely not to Bambi… and to silent deer with a free mind that do not buy ideas blindly without thinking about them first.  

Here are the articles from different media, interestingly almost having the same title ?. Notice the “could not agree”. It implies there is something wrong with their perspective, and not that they have a different perspective or they just “do not agree” with this perspective.

Of course, Bambi is saying so whilst knowing that bad people exist (in all groups) and good people exist (in all groups). Of course, racism exists. Discrimination exists. We are surely far from being a perfect country or a perfect province. We still have a lot of concrete work to do for the justice to our first nations. However, all in all, we are not that bad.

Despite all our vices, we are NOT systematically racist… at least according to Bambi.

Thank you Mr. Tarek Fateh for your wisdom… but will Mr. Jagmeet Singh be humble enough to listen?

Below is a refreshing article by Mr. Tarek Fateh published yesterday in the Toronto Sun and entitled Why Jagmeet Singh needs to apologize.

It is sad for Bambi to see the increasingly poor intellectualism in our country.

In our passion for social justice, why aren’t we wise enough to rise above fanaticism and identity politics in order to foster a truly productive national debate?

Not just slogans… Not just senseless words of accusations.

Federal politicians can learn from Québec’s national debate on reasonable accommodation, for instance. Québeckers learned from it. Their politicians translated the lesson into “their” policy on secularism. Similar to what they did to protect the French language in their province.

No more cheap insults, please. No more empty words of virtue signalling.

Just a deep conversation among smart adults.

Is this too much to expect from our leaders and from ourselves, in today’ society?

Mr. Singh, please apologize to Mr. Therrien… and let’s move on.

“Bonne Saint-Jean” Québec [Happy national day to our “belle province”]!

There is a reason why Québec is called “la belle province”. Its slogan is “Je me souviens” (“I remember”). Pandemic times or not, Bambi will always remember and celebrate this day, praying for healthier days for this province/nation.

Québec is a wonderful part of our country and… of the world!

It is inspiring to many for having succeeded in preserving its heritage and in flourishing, at all levels, despite being a minority in North America. Bravo to Québec. Indeed, MANY francophone/phile people/places in the world, including Lebanon, look up to Québec as an inspiring example for keeping the French language alive.

For fun, below is a song by a talented singer-songwriter from France. Of note, Mr. Yves Duteil wrote this beautiful song in 2010, time at which he was the Mayor of “Précy-sur-Marne” ? (from 1989 to 2014). His song pays tribute to the French language spoken in Québec. Further below, you can hear another beautiful song, which is a sort of an (informal) national anthem of love for Québec. “Merci Monsieur” Gilles Vigneault!

Oh, one more thing, since today is also the name day of Bambi’s second cousin, she will also say: “Bonne fête Jean” to a talented young man (i.e., now a skilled pilot!), called Jeannotti as a baby, perhaps still known as Jeannot… at least by close ones ?.

All this being said, Bambi will joyfully conclude this post by singing Mr. Vigneault’s gens du pays (video with English sub-titles)!

Bambi is a proud “deer” aunt of a “dear” nephew!

His name is Nicolas Doghlass. He graduated yesterday from the American University of Beirut (AUB) with the most prestigious distinction in his field of studies, architecture.

Mr. Nicolas Doghlass is smart, creative, diligent, humble, and with a heart of gold!

In addition to his talent in architecture, he is a skilled soccer player, and an entrepreneur (even at his young age).

Of note, Mr. Doghlass and his peers graduated after a year spent in a revolution (due to Lebanon’s financial crisis) and the covid-19 pandemic.

Bambi wishes Nicolas all the best in life!

To conclude this post, here is a picture taken from his mother’s twitter account that made Bambi’s heart swell with pride.

Thanks Québec for honouring Mr. Jean Lapierre: A section of route 139 will bear his name!

Here a quick google translation of an article from La Presse:

Today, the Government of Québec announced the new name of Route 139 to immortalize the memory of Mr. Jean Lapierre, in the presence of his children, Ms. Marie-Anne and Mr. Jean-Michel Lapierre, who survived their parents. As a reminder, in the 2016 small airplane accident, they also lost their mother, two uncles, and an aunt, along with the pilot.

Bambi paid tribute to Mr. Lapierre in an earlier post honouring “Maman Dion” (Céline’s mom) and the Magdalen Islands. What a tragic loss his death, along with his family members… Not just for his mother and children but also to those beautiful islands, in the Atlantic ocean (nearby but part of Québec), for all of us across Canada, including his beloved Québec (especially Granby and the Eastern Townships).

Mr. Lapierre was a federal liberal MP (1979-1992), a Canadian Minister of Transport (2004-2006), a columnist, and an excellent TV/radio broadcaster. He was appreciated by many citizens, including Bambi ?.

Bambi thought of Ms. Lapierre (his mother) at the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic. No clue why… perhaps whilst thinking of our seniors or listening to a song or remembering good family memories in the Magdalen Islands. She wondered how she is going through this health crisis, especially at her older age, and after her tragic life losses (i.e., the death of her kids at their father’s funeral).

Today, she would like to dedicate Mr. Robichaud’s beautiful song included in the earlier post (see the end of this post) to the Lapierre family and to all the Magdalen Islanders!